Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amy Pincus, Owner of The Illegal Baker, LLC., located in Huntington, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Illegal Baker is a wholesale and custom bakery. We provide baked goods to restaurants, art cinemas, farm stands, and individual customers.
Tell us about yourself
Many years ago, just after I passed the bar and became an attorney, I opened this business in my home. I had very young kids at that time, and I would work my "law" job during the day and bake through the night. I began getting local country clubs and restaurants as customers, and within a very short time, we moved into a brick-and-mortar in Huntington, NY. This bakery was my dream, and I loved it every day. Unfortunately, a "perfect storm" of events came together, and we closed in 2005. I cried for a few years while working pastry chef jobs and then pulled myself together and took a full-time job in the law.
During the pandemic, I was working at my law job remotely. I returned to my favorite stress buster: baking. Bread, cakes, tarts... the list went on. It fed something in my soul to smell the yeast and roll dough. Ingredients were scarce during the pandemic, and there were only three of us at home, and could not possibly eat all of my baked goods!
I started posting on social media that anyone who brought me an ingredient could take home a baked good. People just started showing up on my front porch with a dozen eggs or a bag of flour. It was amazing. Some of these people remembered my original bakery from way back then. They began asking if they could order and purchase baked goods for themselves. For a year and a half, I worked in law during the day and baked through the night. Haha, as I was now 30 years older, this was a lot. In July 2021, I left my law career and began baking full-time. It is a dream come true.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Creating things that make people say, "WOW."
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Wearing ALL of the hats. I shop, bake, wash, package, and advertise. I am lucky enough to have my 85-year-old mom helping!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do what makes you happy. Life is short.
- Be prepared to work night and day.
- Be kind to yourself. It's not as easy as it seems.
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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