Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tigran Ovsepyan, Co-Owner of Cake Creations, located in Grafton, WI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our business is named Cake Creations. It is a family-owned business out of Grafton, Wisconsin. We primarily do custom cake orders and have a venue filled with cupcakes, baked goods, and ethnic goods such as baklava that we make from scratch! Our customers tend to be middle-aged mothers who come in to order for their children's birthday parties, but we also do weddings, catering, anniversaries, etc.
Tell us about yourself
Our business is two-fold. The business comprises my mother, who makes the goods, and myself, who handles the business's marketing, business logistics, and communication. My mother is the reason why we started our business. Victoria Ovsepyan (my mom) has over 17 years of cake decorating experience under her belt in the Ozaukee County area of Wisconsin, working in retail bakeries far and wide. At the height of the pandemic, it was very difficult for my mom to stay at work as many people in the retail bakery business were staying home or were sick. The workload put on my mother was demanding, and she wasn't being rewarded for her hourly wage. This was when I decided to help start a business with my mother so that she could be her own baker and cake decorator. At the time, I was currently in school trying to finish up my Master's degree in analytics at Marquette University while also trying to convince my mom that she was one of the very few people in this country that could make cakes at her level, let alone, probably the best in the state of Wisconsin. We finally began to work on the business in June 2021 and opened in October 2021. Last Sunday was our first year anniversary of the business!
A lot of the motivation she has is providing a service to the Grafton community. We are very close to the community as it became our second home when we immigrated to the USA in 2003. My mother always tries to please her customers with new ideas, new goods, and new sweets for the community of Grafton to try and experience.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My mother's biggest accomplishment is opening the business during the later stages of the pandemic. As an immigrant woman who only had a one-way ticket into this idea she calls Cake Creations, she is flourishing better than ever. I often don't really consider myself an owner but rather a manager that tells her story and how hard she works every day. She gets up at 4 am to bake for her customers and usually comes home around 7-8 pm to do it all over again. Her biggest accomplishment is keeping the business open for over a year now!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things is understanding business from scratch. My mother and I don't have a business background, so we had to learn to create one from scratch. We were limited to a $20,000 budget, and with enough luck, we were able to make it work and stretch that money out until we started making a profit. BAKERIES ARE VERY EXPENSIVE. The front end of creating the business and bringing in new customers is always a challenge we face daily.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Plan out your design for your business to the last detail.
- Be able to adapt to the highs and lows of all obstacles in business and have the ability to keep moving forward.
- Be positive and approachable; my mom is the most friendliest woman you will ever meet. The majority of her business is because people like coming in and chatting with her.
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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