Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ashley Bethea, Owner of Sweet Twoth Junkie LLC, located in Avenel, NJ, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Well, my business is a small local bakery that serves residents who reside in or around Middlesex County, NJ, Essex County, NJ, Union County, NJ, and surrounding cities. My customers are pretty much anyone who loves and appreciates a good sweet treat and has sweet tooth cravings. I'm here to supply them and fulfill all their sweet tooth cravings hence where I coined the name of the business "Sweet Twoth (Tooth) Junkie."

Tell us about yourself

I'm a 35-year-old single mom of two beautiful children, ages 8 and 10. I was born and raised in a small town known as Elizabeth, NJ. I always dreamed of one day starting a business of my own to help and serve people in my community. Honestly, I never thought I would end up baking as a career and profession. I learned to bake at the tender age of nine from my maternal grandmother " Betty." One day I woke up from a dream about a Banana pudding cheesecake in November of 2020. For several nights for a two-week span, that same dream replayed like clockwork. So one day, I decided to act on it and attempt to bake a banana pudding cheesecake based solely on the memory of a dream I had. I carried this cake to my family to test it out. To my surprise, they loved it and did not believe that I actually baked such a well-put-together delicious cake.

They actually thought it was a store-bought cake that I had taken out of a box and placed into a cake pan. I was asked to make the cake again for Thanksgiving dinner. It's obvious now I did indeed bake this decadent banana pudding cheesecake. I duplicated the same cake. My sister Jasmine replied, " You might be on to something here." I said really? in an amused and intrigued manner. My sister said, " If you make a few more different flavors, you can sell them and start a business." I'm sure you know after that the rest was HISTORY. I started my business in February of 2021. So the hidden talent was always there within me. I just needed a little soul searching and "A Dream" to ignite it and bring it to life.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment would have to be being shown a photo of a cake and the adrenaline/ thrill that rushes through my body of being asked to make a cake I've never made before. I make the requested cake and shock myself. I love the challenge and experience baking gives me. Of course, the feedback I also receive from different people. It's very encouraging and motivates me to know that truly do have a gift at what I do.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things I think of being a business owner is managing and overseeing everything behind the scenes, such as inventory, accounting, supplies, equipment, and ingredients, in addition to ensuring I meet or exceed the expectations of all of my customers.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. It's going to be hard, and frustrating but NEVER give up on your dream(s).
  2. Pace yourself and be open to constructive criticism; that is how you learn, grow, and become better at your craft.
  3. Seek help in whatever there is that may be challenging. There are supports out there for first-time business owners more than you can ever imagine, and the biggest thing is it's FREE.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

No matter how tough life may seem. Never give up. Keep pushing; you can slow down or take a short break but Never STOP believing in what you have a passion for.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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