WE SAT DOWN WITH SERAP ANDREASEN, AN EXTRAORDINARY BAKER WHO OPERATES A HOME-BASED BUSINESS, LE CAKE BOUTIQUE, TO TALK ABOUT HER SUCCESS.
Posh: Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
Serap: I’m originally from Istanbul, Turkey. My husband, our two daughters and I live in Montclair, Virginia. We have been here for about 9 years now. I am a full-time mother and wife and a part-time baker. Le Cake Boutique started out as something I liked to do on the weekends for my family. It has turned into a business that I want to eventually take outside of the home once I am done raising my children.
Posh: When did you first start baking?
Serap: It started with me making my oldest daughter’s birthday cake for her second birthday 8 years ago. I have a good palate and I wanted to share my love of food with my family and friends so I started baking for my husband and his co-workers. I would make cookies and cupcakes and fruit tarts for my husband to take to work. I enjoyed the compliments that he and his co-workers gave which encouraged me to go further in my baking. I started to branch out into experimenting with different types of cakes and desserts and I developed my specialty, Macarons.
Posh: What makes your cakes different?
Serap: This is going to sound cliché, but I always start with love when I begin an order for someone. I modify my recipes until I get the taste just right. I put 100% of effort into what I do. I only use fresh ingredients which distinguishes my baking from others. I believe that using fresh fruit, chocolate and nuts makes a big difference in taste.
Posh: What is your favorite flavor?
Serap: I love pistachio! I love anything with pistachio! Posh: How did you start getting customers? Serap: Initially it started with word of mouth from friends and family. I’m currently part of a few different Facebook groups that are centered around our local community. Word of mouth generates a large percentage of my orders. A few businesses and organizations recently contracted me to provide baked goods for them so I am getting public attention which is good for attracting new customers.
Posh: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve encountered?
Serap: I once had orders due on the same day for a big photo shoot and for a wedding. Macarons and cupcakes and a threetier cake for the wedding and different macarons and cupcakes for the venue shoot. Trying to juggle the orders for delivery was a challenge.
Posh: How do you balance your work with family responsibilities?
Serap: I must admit it is challenging to work from home, especially if you have kids at an age that still need mommy to do a lot of things for them. I put in a lot of late nights and I am lucky that my husband is always a big supporter of my business. Even though he works full time, my husband helps me with the kids and the housework or whatever needs to get done so I can focus on my work.
Posh: Do you have any tips for other moms who would like to start their own business?
Serap: I would say follow your passion and don’t get discouraged. It’s not easy to operate a successful business but it is not impossible! Happy customers and success will encourage you to grow your business.
Hire Serap for your next event at 703-628-0938 or LeCakeBoutique.com