What does your company do?
We have a dessert retail store, sell wholesale desserts and currently service 300-350 weddings a year.
What is your background and what motivated you to start a business?
I was born in Gainesville and graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Hospitality Management and Marketing. I founded Crème de la Cocoa after working many years in resorts and private clubs. My positions typically included some type of sales and marketing but always customer service.
My husband has a degree in Hospitality Management from UCF and is also a trained pastry chef and chocolatier. We always said that our combined skills and training would make the perfect dessert and chocolate shop. One day, we were talking about it again but this time we made the mutual decision to make it a reality. To be honest, my husband and I were venting to each other about our jobs while driving around town and every time we would take a drive we would spot shops available for rent and would comment on the location for a potential dessert shop. One day, I felt we were in good positions to take a leap and I asked him, “Why not now? Let’s do it!” I think it caught him off guard because this had always been just a dream or a conversation, his response was, “Really? Ok, were going to do it!”
What sets your company apart from others?
We believe in the quality of our products and employ a team of skilled pastry chefs to produce them makes our company better than its competitors. We always like to pride ourselves in our customer service as well.
What is the biggest challenge for your company?
The biggest challenge in the company is employing new team members and letting go to trust them with our business.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I really enjoy working with the team that we have created and one thing that I really like about having my own business is that if there is something I don’t like then I can generally change it.
What three books from your personal collection would you recommend for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs?
“Crushing It” by Gary Vaynerchuk; “Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss; and “My Life in Advertising” by Claude Hopkins.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
I would tell aspiring entrepreneurs to be flexible and be prepared for things not to go the way you thought they would.