Swank Desserts has been operating as an online dessert shop since 2015 and I am ready to take my business to the next level! With your support I'll be able to expand into my first retail location where I can serve even more of the local community and make our tantalizing treats more accessible!
I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a chef when I "grew" up! I attended Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte and graduated with a degree in Culinary Arts in 2008. I was required to complete an internship prior to graduation, which is how I landed in Charleston. I loved the restaurant I was working at, loved the city, and loved being near my family and decided to stay after I graduated. I continued my education at College of Charleston, where I Ironically wrote my first business plan for Swank. I knew from that moment on that I wanted to make Swank a reality someday!
As I worked and gained experience in local Charleston restaurants as a savory chef, I couldn't shake my desire to create desserts. I've always had desserts on my mind and wrote down all of my ideas in a small notebook. My degree in Culinary Arts and my extensive background in savory have helped shaped the way I approach my desserts: taking the time to build intentional and well balanced flavors!
While I was working at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, my last restaurant job prior to starting my business, I had a lot of downtime during the winter and I spent this time doing a ton of baking and testing out ideas. I was eventually given the opportunity to take over the pastry program and create dessert menus for the restaurants.
One day I decided I was going to make desserts, post pictures on Facebook, and sell them. The idea was a bit disorganized at first, but I received a lot of orders and positive feedback and decided to start my business as an online shop. I hired a graphic designer for the branding, started a website, rented kitchen space, and the rest was history!
Since 2015 I have been operating the business as an online shop! Operating Swank as an online concept has been a valuable experience that has enabled me to define my brand, incorporate feedback from my from my amazing customers, and refine and prove the concept!
All desserts are prepared to order, must be ordered in advance, and require minimum quantities which is limiting and doesn't allow me to take advantage of all of my business opportunities! A brick and mortar shop will allow me to expand my offerings, produce at a higher volume, and eliminate the need to order in advance!
In order to make the transition from online to retail location, I am going to need your help.Your pledges will make this possible!
The dessert shop will be located in the heart of downtown Summerville, a busy and thriving area with lots of foot traffic and a beautiful outdoor patio area! With a physical location we will be able to cater to walk-in customers, which is exciting! This means you no longer need to pre-order to get your Swank fix! You can choose from desserts in our display case and order a coffee or a glass of bubbly to go with it. Expect a menu that changes frequently and seasonally. We will be offering our signature brownies, mini cakes, cookie sandwiches, ice cream sandwiches, macarons, brioche doughnuts, mini pies, and a lot more! We will continue to take custom orders and offer catering for weddings and events. As we will be closed on Sunday, our beautiful space can be rented for private events.
How the funds will be used
The space itself already has some of the major equipment and fixtures that I'll need to run the business. The money raised from this campaign will go towards remaining kitchen equipment, furniture for the indoor and outdoor dining area, signage, permits, renovations, and beginning inventory. Friends, family, and I will be doing whatever renovations we can to beautify the space. Any extra funds raised will help with overhead costs.
I expect to be open by Thanksgiving 2019!
I am grateful to have come this far, but I couldn't have done it without your support. Every order, like, share, and mention of my business to a friend has contributed to my success and I truly appreciate it! I can't wait to continue to share my love of all things sweet with you! I've created some sweet rewards to express my gratitude for your support. I thank you for believing in me, the product, and my vision. Pledge whatever you can, no contribution is too small and every dollar will get me one step closer to my goal!
The SWEETEST part of this campaign are the rewards! I've created a variety of rewards that you will receive in exchange for your generous donations. There is something for everyone and every budget! All desserts will be packaged in our branded packaging. If you aren't local, the t-shirts, brownies, and macarons can be shipped to your door. If you haven't tried my desserts before, I promise you won't be disappointed. Here is what past clients have to say! Everything is made from scratch and with the highest quality ingredients! I don't cut any corners and you can taste the difference!
Risks and challenges
As I have worked in the restaurant industry for 15 years, I understand the risks associated with opening a brick & mortar location. The overhead costs will be higher, however I will have the ability to produce at a much higher volume with the help of a dedicated staff. I will continue to accommodate custom orders and provide cakes/desserts for weddings.
I have been in business for 4 years and fully understand the ebb and flow of the business. I will prepare for the slow season while we are busy to avoid negative cash flow. I have established a strong customer base and have created a strong following via social media and word of mouth. I have a detailed marketing plan in place to spread the word about my new venture and to continue to keep customers coming through the door once we are open.
I have been working with our local Small Business Development Center to develop a strong business plan and have several industry mentors who have offered advice and will continue to offer assistance throughout this transition. The biggest challenge right now is bringing this project to life with the capital available, this is where you can assist ! Kickstarter is ALL or NOTHING. If I don't reach my goal by the end of the campaign, I won't receive any of the funds! With your support I hope to be able to continue to cater to your sweet tooth and provide you with an even greater delectable experience!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)