Thursday, September 2, 2010
My shop is called Denise’s Delectables. My other shop has my name in it, so I wanted to keep some consistency there. Then I came up with the word that described a bakery and Delectables seemed perfect.
I create UNIQUE baked goods. Some of my creations are chocolate covered bacon brownie, jalapeno snickerdoodles, Irish Coffee Truffles, and the list of ‘different’ items goes on. My favorite is the Boobie Cookies. I am involved with the local Breast Cancer Center in Santa Barbara and I donate a part of the sales to this charity.
How did you decide what items to put in your shop?
My initial idea of what to put in it, revolved around unique cupcakes. But as I added items, the cupcakes took a back seat. More so, because they don’t travel well in a box & I want the customer to have a box without frosting all over it. I’d like to create more fondant cakes, cupcake/cake toppers, but I seem to never have enough time.
What challenges did you encounter when you opened your shop and how did you over come them?
Having a great idea and then planning to package and ship it – sometimes changes the great idea – or completely nixes it. Since I bake everything fresh, with no preservatives, I have to ship the item quickly. Shipping seems to be my biggest challenge.
What advice would you give to someone trying to get started?
My best advice is to never give up. I have had my own side businesses, outside of a full-time job, for the last 10 years. During those 10 years, I’ve been laid off twice and this last time for 2 years & 2 months. Even though these businesses couldn’t replace the income of my full-time job, they kept me very busy and I enjoyed fulfilling every order.
What would you say makes you passionate about what you do?
I hear the word “passionate” a lot lately. I’m glad there is this shift in people to consider what passion really is. I have been passionate my whole life, in so many things – art, photographing the world, wine, food and most of all, philanthropy.
Do you feel that social networking is helpful in making your business a success?
I definitely believe in social networking . . . but I have to honestly say that the amount of hours I’ve put into social networking has not produced the results I would have liked. But I’ve met many great people in my social networking and I say, “no pain, no gain.”
What local venues have you had success with your edibles?
There really isn’t a place for a bake sale, unless it is for charity, church or garage sale. Charities and churches want donated goods and where I live, I can’t have a garage sale. I’ve had inquiries about bringing some of my stuff into someone’s non-food retail store, but it has only been inquiries so far.
Where does your inspiration come from?
For baking, my inspiration comes from my mom. She is the best cook and baker I know. She also taught me perseverance, determination and to never give up.
How long have you been baking, who taught you and what was the first thing you baked?
I’ve been baking since I was a little girl, learning from my mom and grandma. I used to be in awe of what my mom made for our family and friends. I really can’t remember the first thing I ever baked. I’m sure it was chocolate chip cookies.
What equipment do you use while baking and what kind of kitchen?
My kitchen looks like any other kitchen. I have an island, which is nice for rolling out dough and decorating cookies.
If you had to pick a favorite from your shop, what would it be and why?
I would say the Boobie Cookies. They are a lot of fun to make and I get to “paint.” They are also a great unexpected gift. Who wouldn’t laugh when they opened a gift box with boobie cookies in it?
What is Denise’s Delectables’ bestseller?
I think that would be a toss up between the rum balls and the jalapeno brownies.
Do you have special names for your edibles and how did you come up with them?
My names are pretty standard descriptions of what the items are made of.
What has been the overall reception your shop?
I’ve had great comments, due to the unique items within my shop. I’ve begun large orders for parties, which has been great. My items are a great addition to a special event.
What do you have special for the holidays?
For 4th of July last year, I made fondant cherry pies and hot dogs in buns – as cupcake toppers. My birthday is near Halloween, so I always do some great scary treats. I will have to make time to create items for inclusion around Christmas. This Spring I created Spring flower cookies.
What would you like our readers, potential customers, to know about you and your store?
That I’m a hard-working woman, hoping to one day replace my corporate job with all of the entrepreneurial ventures that truly make me happy. That includes having a commercial bakery some day.
Is there anything I haven’t covered in this interview that you would like to add?
To support the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara, which helps women of the tri-county area, in Central Coast California, go to http://BCRCSB.org and http://facebook.com/BCRCSB . All proceeds from my shops go towards the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer – thru Sep. 10th.
I have begun creating event cakes and hope to create more elaborate cupcake toppers. I can use my creative skills to create that UNIQUE baked good, UNIQUELY decorated baked good and even create the graphic design packaging.
Where can the readers find you?