Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nicole Braddock, founder of Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes LLC., located in Watertown, CT, USA.

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

My business is Hardcore Sweet Bakery. We are a bakery that specializes in Custom Cakes, Cupcakes, and other desserts. We love that our customers range from vegan and gluten-free dietary restrictions to couples who want an out-of-the-box wedding cake. We do it all.

Tell us about yourself

I started this business nine years ago with my husband. It was all a dream, as they say! We watched Food Network for fun when we were home. We have three kids, and when they were small, we baked a lot for their parties. The hobby turned into a business quicker than we could ever imagine.

To sound cliché, but my children motivate me every single day. Every move I make in this business is calculated to how this could affect them. They are the reason why I work as hard as I do because when we first started, it was a struggle.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is starting this business from just an idea and motivating others who have the same goal. I love seeing children in our camps, and home bakers in our baking classes motivated to be creative and outside their comfort zone. I never had confidence growing up, and now I have it to be strong-willed and passionate. I love seeing our students with the same attitude.

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

Certainly, right now, since the pandemic, a lot more has been more unpredictable. It is stressful to see how much your costs are going up while trying to make sure your staff is taken care of and balancing your kids and their activities. Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day to do the paperwork and work that goes with owning a business and having family time. You have to try to find the right balance.

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

  1. Do not get discouraged!
  2. Stay ahead of the trends, and always want to be creative.
  3. Take time for yourself; self-care is SO important. I wish I knew that one nine years ago!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Running a business is not of the faint of heart. It is sometimes the most rewarding and frustrating thing you will do. You have to outweigh the pros and try to get on a schedule that works for you. Overworking yourself will cause you to burn out. It will make you not motivated, and sometimes you need to refresh to push your business to do more than you ever could expect. Do not be scared of the unknown. Go in with PMA- Positive Mental Attitude!

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; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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