Before she could open the doors to BabyCakes Baking Company, owner Khryste Langlais had to paint the walls, clean the floors, and learn about sanitation. Luckily, she had her Mom and Dad there to help her start her baking business located in Torrance, California.
“My parents always told me, ‘You want to grow up to be your own boss.’ So they were both super supportive when I decided to open BabyCakes. My dad would show up at 4 AM, wash dishes, and spend all day there with me,” said Khryste. Khryste’s father, Phil, passed away a few years ago, and going through the application process for the Shop Local Small Indie Business Grant Awards last year brought back sweet memories of her dad. “I feel him here all the time. Filling out the application got me thinking about all the love and work it took to get the bakery up and running.”
The Challenge of Running a Small Business
Khryste started BabyCakes in 2007 after her boss at the chiropractic office where she worked was getting ready to retire.
“I needed to figure out what my next move was going to be. I knew I loved to bake and I was really good at it,” said Khryste. I’d make baskets of goodies for my husband’s clients during the holidays, and when they started asking for baskets year round, it seemed natural that I’d open a bakery.”
Small businesses like BabyCakes face challenges all the time – food prices go up, changes to the healthcare system, and other unforeseen changes happen in the workplace. Said Khryste, “This is really hard work. You work ridiculous hours, business taxes are crazy…I mean people don’t tell you how hard it is. Not only do you need a strong work ethic, sometimes you need cash flow.”
Finding a Better Solution
When Khryste originally applied for the small indie business grant offered through ShopLocal.us last year, she thought she would use it to buy a refrigerator for cakes in her shop. Shortly after winning the grant however, she made the decision to invest the grant money into something that would help her to increase store revenue. So she decided to put the money towards an online marketing campaign. Khryste hired a local business that built a mobile app and coached her on how to optimize her Facebook page and other social media platforms. They encouraged her to invest in free wi-fi for her customers at the bakery. With the grant money her business received from Shop Local, she has been able to attract new customers to her shop and increase her business revenue.
“The grant money gave us access to technology we couldn’t have afforded before, and being a member of Shop Local has helped to solidify us into the community, and continues to keep us interactive and connected to other business owners; it helps us keep our name out there.”
Why Shop Local?
ShopLocal.us is part of a grassroots effort to inspire more people to buy from local businesses in neighborhoods across America to keep our communities healthy, wealthy, and vibrant. To help local businesses achieve greater visibility and profitability, ShopLocal.us certifies small locally-based and independent businesses.
ShopLocal.us is hosting its 2nd Annual Small Indie Business Grant Awards program for businesses based in the South Bay. This year’s winners will be revealed at the South Bay Business Mavericks Gala & Grant Awards ceremony taking place on Wednesday, October 29th 2014 at the Toyota USA Automobile Museum. Based on last year’s success, they expect over 100 attendees to attend the gala event, including local entrepreneurs, community leaders and small business owners. When asked why do the grant awards? ShopLocal.us Founder, Heidi Butzine said, “The Grant Awards program is our way of giving back to the South Bay business community. We know it takes a lot to run your own business. It’s the courage, persistence and passion that drives the small business owners to get out there every day and serve our community. We’re proud to host the Small Indie Business Grant program to honor the tremendous contribution small businesses make to the national and local economy.”
To apply for the Shop Local Small Business Grant Awards please visit: http://www.shoplocal.us/grant/
For tickets or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities please visit: http://www.southbaybusinessmavericks.com