These days, Dough Boy Donuts is a popular gourmet donut shop that is bustling with customers and employees, but it all started from very humble beginnings.
In 2014, Melvin Roberson used Texas’ cottage food law to start his donut business from his home kitchen. A year later, he expanded to a food truck, and eventually, to a brick-and-mortar location in Fort Worth, TX (now relocated to Burleson, TX).
Melvin has faced plenty of obstacles along the way, including negative customers, family feuds, and a failed Kickstarter campaign.
But through perseverance, sacrifice, and plenty of hard work, he has built a loyal customer base that keep coming back for one of his unique signature donuts, like the Sriracha Maple Bacon or The Last Call.
Melvin’s has a tremendous amount of experience in the food industry… before building a successful food business through three different stages (from home, food truck, storefront), he held just about every food service position available, ultimately managing hundreds of employees as the kitchen manager at a popular steakhouse.
Over the past decade, Jennifer Lopez and Emily Blattel have sold dozens of custom cakes that run the gamut from elegant buttercream cakes to realistic cake sculptures. The results are always exceptional, and sometimes they are nearly unbelievable!
This dynamic duo runs The Cake Mom & Co. from their homes in Paducah, KY and Scott City, MO.
Because they are both amazing cake decorators, I thought this interview would be focused solely on cake artistry.
But they ended up touching on so many facets of running a cake business that I had to split this episode into two parts. This is Part 1.
In this first half of the interview, they covered their startup journey, online marketing strategies, photography, pricing, delivery, and many stories of their triumphs and near-failures.
Make sure you listen to the end to hear the “beach cake” story, which led Emily and I to agree that Jennifer is a veritable “crazy cake lady”!
What is it like to run a home bakery for 17 years? That is what Lauren Cortesi shares with us on this episode.
Lauren lives in Pennsylvania and started Bella’s Desserts in 2003. In addition to running her cottage food business, she occasionally teaches classes on starting a home baking business.
Lauren talks about the ups and downs of being a home baker, how a famous baker transformed her business, and why she has never wanted to open a brick and mortar bakery.
Cottage food operators often put too much stock into having their own website. They might think that their home food business will be hampered if they don’t have one, or they’ll be behind the times without one. Sometimes they even spend hundreds of dollars to get one designed and built, only to later find that it’s not generating much business for them.
Is a website worth your time and/or money? What are the benefits and what are the costs? Why are some websites successful while others are not?