Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kimberly Kerr, Founder of Sincerely Sweets Co., located in Plympton-Wyoming, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am the first person to have a certified home bakery from public health in my rural community in Wyoming, Ontario, Canada. My baking includes custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and much more. I take people's themes and ideas and turn them into one kinda custom order. I am currently in transition as I love to teach as well, and I am about to embark on a journey in 2023 of more teaching classes online, offering products to my customers that may want to try a little baking at home with some help, as well as teaching you how to run a home bakery in Ontario from someone who as experience from starting with one customer to well over 1,000 customers I regularly serve now all over my area. I have never got a bad review from a customer; I actually hear instead, "our order was AMAZING but tasted even better" I have heard over and over again that people have had custom work done, and they usually don't get a cake the looks good and tastes good. Even though I have made 1,000 recipes, I still check and taste for quality each and every order, and I also get the opinions of my family as well; they are honest, and I love that. I will never let something leave my kitchen without it tasting amazing and looking amazing.
My son Ty is 12yrs old; he is my biggest fan; each and every time I make a custom order and show him, his eyes light up, and he says MOM, that is AMAZING. He always tells me to enter these shows on t.v. Lol... then my daughter Hannah is 21 and is the brutally honest and great placement of things, so I always seal the deal with her. If it pasts her, I know I got it all right! Love my family judges...lol...
Tell us about yourself
I was a nurse for over 20yrs, but I also am a mom and wife. I always enjoyed being creative from when I was very little but also loved caring for others above myself, so that is why I became a nurse first. Nursing over the years has changed tremendously, and I wasn't feeling that passion I once had and felt my heart going in a different direction. I started making cakes for my family and posting to social media, and then others started asking if I was making cakes for others, and I started saying yes, and then it snowballed into what it is today. To get a custom order from people, book months in advance to get a spot. I actually just announced that I am full for 2022. I am blessed to do what I do and have a husband who supports my passions even when it means leaving my stable career.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The biggest reward has returning customers and customers that recommend you. I have recipes that taste amazing with using high-quality ingredients to achieve this, and then hearing the reviews from my customers after they get their order and taste it just seals the deal. I LOVE reviews!!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Balance! As a small business owner, you are the baker/decorator, photographer, editor, content creator, social media manager, secretary, bookkeeper, inventory, etc. there is much more, but that gives you an idea, as well as a wife to a shift worker, and mother to a son in travel sports, a daughter in university. It can get a bit much, and I would be lying if I said I hadn't cried many late nights. Balancing this all out would make anyone give up and throw in the towel, but I just try to re-evaluate all the time my business, what is working, and what I can change to help the work-life balance, and this will be different for everyone. There is no magical layout that you can say do this, and you will be able to do it. Just as life changes daily, so do you!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Research- What can you offer that is unique to your area, who do you want your customers to be, price out cost of materials & profit margins you want, and stand out above the people you are competing with.
- Learn/Courses: Learn social media and take courses to understand SEO and the changing algorithms on each platform. Without social media success nowadays, it is very hard to have a successful business. Most people look to social media to order and see what they are doing. There are many great teachers out there, and I can help you as well, as you will see 2023 from me!
- Trends- Try and find and get on the trends early. People are BIG into trends. You have to keep learning and changing/incorporating them into what you are doing. Also, have faith in yourself, and don't give up; it takes a lot of HARD WORK, TIME, and COMMITMENT. Success takes time and building trust and relationships with your customers. Your customers are your walking Ads; make sure you go above and beyond for them!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I would like to end with this:
Don't be afraid of failure (it is an opportunity)
Don't be afraid of judgment (it is growth)
Don't be afraid of disappointing others (be courageous to keep going)
Christopher Columbus once said, " You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore."
" You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore."
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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