My name is Nancy Stuart and I own Saltadena Bakery. For the past 2 1/2 years I have operated out of my home as a licensed cottage food business, being featured in such publications as Seattle Met Bride & Groom, Martha Stewart Weddings online, Style Me Pretty, 100 Layer Cake and more. Now I am ready to expand into the business's first retail bakery location where I can serve even more of my local community.
I knew somewhat early on that I had a love of both food and art, but I didn't exactly imagine them intersecting into a dream career this way. I've been into drawing and being creative since a young age, but when I really started to realized I was developing a deeper passion for food is actually when the name Saltadena was conceived. It comes from a street I used to live on called South Altadena Ave (street sign read "S Altadena") in Royal Oak, MI, and began to really play around with food and cooking more. I even started a notebook of different restaurant ideas that I would fill constantly. A bakery/breakfast spot was the most written about concept, and now here we are!
Before opening Saltadena, I worked extensively in customer service as well as bakery/restaurant environments. Most recently, I spent a couple years working in a Whole Foods bakery department at their busy South Lake Union location where I would sometimes decorate around 40 cakes a day. I also learned how to mix, properly use larger equipment, and work in an incredibly efficient manner.
After the birth of my daughter in 2016, I was ready to finally venture out on my own and start the business at home so I could be with her while starting to get my name out there. My vision for Saltadena from the start has been pretty simple--make beautiful cakes that have a delicious taste to match. This process fulfills both my creative side as well as the desire to nurture others. Nothing makes me happier than knowing something I've created has made someday's day.
Over the last couple of years the focus has been primarily on wedding cakes since working out of my home kitchen has left me somewhat limited in terms of space and equipment. As fun and rewarding as it has been, I have missed the days where I would make a large quantity of smaller items and set up a beautiful display case on a daily basis. Now that Saltadena has grown and I've made more of a name for myself, I am ready to move the business into a retail location where anyone can walk in and get a slice of cake. While I will absolutely still be creating wedding cakes, my offerings will be much more accessible to a greater audience, and that excites me!
The space itself already has some of the major appliances I will need to run the kitchen, including a hood and sinks. The money raised from this campaign will go towards the remaining equipment (such as a larger mixer and a display case to plates, cups, tables and chairs for the front), as well as some of the renovation. I plan to do what labor I can to contribute to fixing up the space (such as painting the walls a fresh coat of white), but some will need to be outsourced to professionals.
Customers can expect to see cake-by-the-slice, cupcakes, cookies (including French Macarons), pudding, choux pastries and more. Additionally, we will have an online shop where people can order selected signature items with just a few clicks, as well as an extensive beverage list and savory items once fall/winter hits.
A current popular item will also be a mainstay at Saltadena Bakery--the Lil Scrappy. Lil Scrappies are deconstructed cake cups that are made using repurposed scraps and sold at a lower price point. These treats are a win-win because they help to eliminate food waste and are quite a steal. One of the main missions at Saltadena Bakery will be to have as minimal amount of food waste as possible.
The decision to use Kickstarter to raise funds was made after having so many people reach out and say that they wanted to help. This business has grown so rapidly due to the support of many, and so for me it feels like it's been a community effort from Day 1. I have chosen rewards that I feel will really be appreciated by the people who support me and this business, because I want them to feel they're getting something great back in return for their generosity. As I state in the first reward, no contribution is too small. I am sincerely grateful for you all!
Risks and challenges
The restaurant business is a tough nut to crack with many businesses not making it past the first three years. I plan to overcome this by using my past experience and knowledge to help navigate through the hard times and make smart decisions that'll contribute to consistent profit growth. I have also been working with our local Small Business Development Center and other resources, because these outlets are invaluable with their wealth of knowledge and expertise.
Standing out in a crowd of other talent can be particularly hard, but with an Instagram following of over 8,000 that is only growing, I will continue to use my marketing skills to draw people in with clear and mouth-watering visuals of our delicious desserts.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (27 days)