Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Juanita Jones, owner of Edible Blessings Custom Cakes & Desserts, located in Jacksonville, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Edible Blessings is a mobile delivery bakery business serving Jacksonville, FL, and surrounding counties. We provide exceptional products & services, where “desserts not only look good but actually TASTE as good as they look.” All items are made fresh to order for the highest quality possible. We take no “shortcuts”!
Our business is mobile-based because we understand that life is busy, and so are our clients! We offer door-to-door delivery, “hot spot” delivery (specific locations throughout the city for those out of range), as well as local pick up. As a bonus for those with a sweet tooth that just can’t wait for delivery, we have added our new line of digital bakery vending machines for client convenience! Our flagship location is inside Sk8City Jacksonville in Arlington, and we are planning to add a new vending location to every part of the city by the end of 2023.
This concept offers an array of goodies along with a contactless process, keeping our clients safe in the midst of the current pandemic. Besides offering Classic and custom desserts, we specialize in full-service dessert tables, weddings, corporate events, event décor & planning (we are partnered with Opuleance Jax Events), business mentorship, and also baking classes!
Tell us about yourself
Edible Blessings (EB hereafter) was born in 2002 out of fulfilling a need. As a military wife, we moved a lot, and I was in search of a very special Cake for my son that no one could fulfill. Being that I've always been extremely creative, I took the matter into my own hands and decided to make my son's cake, and the rest is history!
EB started as most companies as a hobby for friends and family. It then morphed into a part-time business in 2012. In 2016, as an act of faith, I left a very lucrative career in corporate America in pursuit of working on my business full time. I haven't looked back. While motivation is great, it's also a fleeting emotion, as it's based on the current circumstances that go up and down. It's impossible to succeed in business (or life in general) based on it alone. I'd take it a step further to say it's perseverance and DISCIPLINE that to keep me working on my dreams for the bigger picture at hand - to leave a legacy for my children and eventually their children. It's about generational prosperity.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I’m a wife, mother, mentor, published author, serial entrepreneur, and overachiever. My biggest accomplishment is that I’m still here! Most businesses fail within the 1st year. My business has been growing year after year because I have chosen to stick with it. It’s also a blessing to have an extremely supportive partner (my husband Steve), who’s both supportive financially and emotionally. Family support is vital to sustainability. I’m also honored to have received numerous accolades since being in business, such as:
2016 Entrepreneur of the Year
2019 2nd place Best bakery in Jacksonville
2020 1st place BEST bakery in Jacksonville
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
In the beginning, as a novice business owner, you think that the support you’ll initially get will be from family and friends. That’s furthest from the truth. You find out the hard way that those you thought would be there are the ones that support you the least. This was a hard learning lesson, as initially, it’s taken personally. As you grow into a business owner & a professional, you learn to not wear your feelings on your sleeve but to “boss up” and appreciate the strangers that keep your business afloat. It’s about growing thick skin to be able to handle adversity.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Top tips for new entrepreneurs:
- COUNT THE COSTS! This isn’t just about making sure you have sufficient funds to get started, but you will work more than you’ve ever worked in your life for yourself! There will be days you’ll get little sleep, will miss parties, events, etc., and will be ready to quit every other day for various reasons. This is not for the faint at heart.
- DO YOUR RESEARCH! It’s always best before stating anything to do as much research on your business. It doesn’t make sense to reinvent the wheel of its already built.
- NEVER STOP LEARNING. There’s no such thing as “arriving.” Business needs and trends change constantly. The only way to stay ahead of the curve is to consistently invest in yourself - classes, courses, mentoring, books, etc. It takes money to make money! This never goes away. Nothing is “free.”
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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