June 12, 2024

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Business is my step

Little Organization Spotlight Series: Ann’s Cupcakery (Mechanicsburg, PA)

7 min read

Meet Nicole Baer – Founder of Ann’s Cupcakery

Nicole Baer launched her small business enterprise in 2013 from her little house kitchen area. At to start with, baking was simply just a facet hustle that helped her pay for university and provided her with a creative outlet, but with an huge sum of tricky get the job done, it grew to become a full-time work. Ann’s Cupcakery is a quaint tiny store nestled into the streets of Downtown Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Instantly on opening the magnificent blue door, you are greeted by the mouthwatering scent of baked products and Nicole’s smiling encounter. The inside is extremely aesthetically pleasing, with crisp white countertops, an exposed brick wall, loads of normal gentle, and even a couple hanging plants. I recently sat down with Nicole, who reported that she hardly ever truly dreamed of baking as a job, but from the time she was really youthful she knew that she required to have her own business. And therefore, Ann’s Cupcakery was born. 

a woman standing in front of a cake: Ann's Cupcakery

© Kendra Reeder
Ann’s Cupcakery

Nicole, who is at first from Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, wears all the hats at Ann’s Cupcakery. She bakes from scratch and decorates clean cupcakes each individual single early morning, manages her own e-mail and social media, buys supplies, and organizes any pick-ups or deliveries. She has a very hands-on strategy to her small business – which gives her the option to create a private connection with her shoppers and followers. On top of that, Nicole researched finance at Shippensburg College, which she said has surely aided her navigate the at the rear of-the-scenes features of jogging a business, specifically with things like correct budgeting and merchandise pricing.


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Background and Local community

Anything that I admire about Nicole is the simple fact that she is absolutely self taught. She was really crafty and grew up sometimes baking treats like cheesecakes and lemon bars with her mother and grandmother, but never pursued culinary coaching or really had a exclusive interest in cupcakes. It wasn’t right up until her son turned 3, when she manufactured cupcakes for his birthday, that she understood her passion. At that time, she under no circumstances imagined it at any time staying a job, but she baked for fun on the weekends, and eventually started acquiring requests from close friends and relatives. It shortly turned into a complete side hustle, and took off from there. As Nicole was formally launching Ann’s Cupcakery 7 and a 50 percent many years ago, she was just starting up faculty at Shippensburg. She was a entire-time student and worked as a server, even though nonetheless baking on the weekends and increasing her son Landon. Nicole admits that it was exhausting, but was definitely well worth it.

a cake sitting on top of a table: Ann's Cupcakery

© Kendra Reeder
Ann’s Cupcakery

You might be questioning why the store is not called “Nicole’s Cupcakery”, but the title Ann will come from both sides of her spouse and children, and is also Nicole’s middle name. Her grandmother on her dad’s side was named Anna, and on her mom’s side, her grandmother’s middle title was Ann. Nicole and her brother invested a whole lot of time carrying out arts and crafts with their mom’s mother as youngsters, and often cooked with her. Nicole jokes that she hardly ever actually picked up on cooking but that her grandma often served her have entertaining in the kitchen area, and that she was these kinds of a large aspect of her lifetime. When questioned if she had any culinary role models that encourage her in her perform, Nicole said that her grandmothers are a huge portion of every little thing that she does nowadays.

Nicole was intrigued in opening a store downtown as soon as she moved to Mechanicsburg. We talked about the way the space, particularly Main Street, has actually blossomed in latest decades, and that there are so a lot of a lot more individuals walking in the streets and exploring community corporations. Before the pandemic, the Downtown Partnership hosted a multitude of exciting gatherings, these kinds of as in-retailer wine and chocolate tastings, in an work to catch the attention of the group to community enterprises. Also all through the pre-Covid occasions, Nicole would hand out any leftover goodies at the stop of the working day to other nearby businesses. Clearly, the tiny small business entrepreneurs actually help every other, and there are so quite a few possibilities to link with other users of the group. Nicole is thrilled that Chef de Crêpe just opened a storefront down the avenue from her, and also gives a shoutout to Glitz Soap Firm and Smoke & Pickles Artisan Butcher Shop, two of her beloved close by institutions.

The Problems of Staying a Modest Organization Proprietor (In the Middle of a Pandemic)

Social media is this kind of an integral part of proudly owning a little enterprise, and Nicole mentioned that becoming existing online is vital, specially mainly because the algorithm performs these kinds of a massive purpose in the publicity organization internet pages get. She has employed Fb due to the fact the preliminary development of Ann’s Cupcakery and sooner or later established an Instagram account, but only just not long ago set up an official site mainly because she experienced previously done all of her organization in person or via different social media platforms. 

a table with a cake on a plate: Ann's Cupcakery

© Kendra Reeder
Ann’s Cupcakery

I questioned Nicole what she would say to company homeowners who are losing hope or having difficulties during this unparalleled time, and she stated “Just hold going. We will all get by this together”. For her, the toughest portion of operating a smaller organization through the pandemic was basically seeking to determine out how to truly get solutions to men and women, considering the fact that usually customers would just drop by her shop. Her spouse assisted her do property deliveries at first, but curbside pickup became the very best method of dissemination and is what truly saved them alive for the duration of all those 1st number of months of the shutdown. Additionally, weddings and decorating lessons, which were being two of her most profitable ventures, had been cancelled or postponed for months. 

Coming up with new products can sometimes be tough for Nicole, specifically when she is definitely fast paced and immersed in her regular program, but she had a good deal of downtime around the past few months to experiment with new flavors for up coming year’s menu. I questioned what that approach entails, and she mentioned it is really just demo and mistake when developing new recipes, and mostly depends on what substances she is functioning with. She made use of to style one cupcake from every batch and nonetheless does when getting ready new flavors, or if the batter appears to be off, but she has perfected her common day-to-day recipes. But even following all these years, Nicole laughs and claims that some days she will fail to remember to include standard substances to the batter, which goes to exhibit that even pros from time to time helps make problems. A further typical obstacle she has encountered is attempting to determine out the move and determine how lots of cupcakes she need to make each working day, which has undoubtedly been a finding out curve.

To maintain shoppers coming back and intrigued in her enterprise, Nicole enjoys to improve points up and produce new products and solutions, these as chocolate chip cookie shot glasses and seasonal cupcakes.  She also seriously enjoys decorating, which permits her to embrace her crafty aspect, and offered unique decorating courses and private decorating get-togethers that she presented prior to the pandemic. She liked supplying men and women with a strain-cost-free environment to discover anything new, and her favorite themed course to instruct was the succulent layout study course.

a hand holding a fruit: Ann's Cupcakery

© Kendra Reeder
Ann’s Cupcakery

Moving Forward

As a foodstuff blogger, I requested Nicole what the best issue I and other foods influencers can do for her is, and she reported that just sharing on social media allows to get the phrase out about her business enterprise, which is actually all she can check with for. Nicole also admitted that in lieu of leaving a general public overview on a web-site like Google or Yelp, she enjoys when men and women access out and electronic mail her privately about their working experience in her store.

Nicole’s greatest tips for other individuals hunting to start out a little small business and flip their passion for foodstuff into a occupation? “Be willing to work a great deal. Do not prevent, since you are heading to hit partitions and get frustrated or burnt out, but just preserve going and make positive that you plan every thing as significantly as you can, simply because something is likely often heading to go mistaken. You just have to determine out how to get all around those roadblocks and determine what works very best for you. As lengthy as you preserve operating and continue to be targeted, then ideally every thing will perform out”.

a cake sitting on top of a table: Ann's Cupcakery

© Kendra Reeder
Ann’s Cupcakery

Special thanks to Nicole for chatting with me about her story and her wonderful small business. You can stop by her new web page to spot an get, follow her on Instagram, or like her on Fb. And if you’re trapped on which delectable treat to test, Nicole recommends the blueberry lemon or the fluffernutter cupcake! Also be guaranteed to examine out Retro Sushi, which is her husband’s sushi enterprise! 

All pictures in this post were being taken by Kendra Reeder, a community food items photographer. 

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