Palm Beach County, Florida
Earth And Sugar is a custom bakery and wholesale dessert company, specializing in creating unique cake and confectionary designs. They focus on elevating special occasion experiences for its clients leaving a lasting impact and impression on those in attendance.
89% increase from 2018 – 2021
124% increase from 2018 – 2021
Tell us a bit about your background. What led you to where you are?
I used to work in marketing and somehow managed to get into politics. After that, I had my first baby who had gotten sick. I ended up getting a bit of cabin fever and needed some kind of distraction. My husband gave me the idea of baking because I had always loved to do that. When I was growing up, my nanny taught me to bake so it’s always been very special to me. Ultimately, one thing led to another and here we are 13 years later. Earth and Sugar didn’t start with cakes, though. I started with mainly doing mini cupcakes for charity events – or for anyone that would hear me out and try my cupcakes. A few years later, we started getting featured in magazines and working at weddings.
Do you remember a pivotal moment when you knew you could turn your passion for baking into a full-time career?
There was a time in the beginning when it was really just an expensive hobby. It was a lot of work and money that went into one box of cupcakes. My husband pushed and encouraged me to figure out to make it work and how I could start making a profit. A friend of mine who was in the wedding industry suggested talking to caterers and planners. I used my marketing background and expertise to gain some business in the wedding industry and everything took off from there.
What sets you apart from others in your industry?
In addition to building a good product, what set us apart was the way I present the product and our customer service. I used to drive to Miami and do five networking events per week doing tastings in people’s houses. People were able to meet me and see the face behind the product. We’re priced quite a bit higher than your average bakery, but it’s our level of customer service and level of technique that sets us apart.
What were some of the challenges you faced while starting or growing your business?
Looking back, I think one of the biggest issues I had was getting burnt out. When you’re starting out or have a small team, you still have to be able to jump into any role. When you’re not sleeping that much and just hoping it works out is difficult. just hope that it works has been difficult. After COVID, the biggest issue I’ve had is turnover, employee commitment, and mindset. For me, my biggest challenge has been learning to be an owner. Even though we’re growing and hiring more employees, I find myself getting stuck working in the business rather than in the business.
What are some of the goals you have for your company?
My biggest goal is to have long-term employees with me to continue to make sure our band and product delivery at the same level as we grow. Increasing our brand awareness about who we are and what we do will allow us to continue to grow our revenue. Eventually, I would love to open a second location in Orlando, but right now, what makes us who we are is that it’s just the team and the process that all occur in one place
What is your company culture like?
It’s been a learning curve. Seven or eight years ago, I was just learning to be an owner. I was very passive with things, and I didn’t have many processes in place, I was just in the mindset to get orders done. Now, as we grow, we’re all working together and continue to strive for perfection. Most of us are women, so we can understand each other. Our culture is one where we all have support, positive energy, and empathy towards different situations in each other’s personal and business lives.
Do you have a proudest moment so far?
My proudest moment was probably when we began getting featured in magazines, and someone from Brides Magazine asked us directly to make something for them. We drove it up to New York and I was able to meet with their editorial team. That for me was one of my biggest accomplishments. When it comes to something like that, you’re being recognized out of a pool of so many for your work. Additionally, another proud moment was having the ability to bake for a wedding in the Bahamas. We were hired for three days to that. The wedding was attended by a lot of high-profile politicians which even brought along the CIA. I think those are the two moments that stick out to me the most.
What does it mean to be selected as an Honoree this year?
Our team puts in so many hours and so much effort to constantly push the company forward with me. I’m not always the easiest person to work for – but I know that they understand how much this means to me. When we got the news that we were selected, everyone was ecstatic. This award in particular is special because the team is able to feel like they have a part in it. When we used to receive awards or acknowledgments, it was just “me. But I’ve pushed for so many years to say “we”. Earth and Sugar is no longer me, it’s everyone that works there. Something like this is just pure excitement.
Is there anyone special you’d like to thank?
It’s such an emotional question. I think my parents, my husband, and my family sacrificed so much for this. They’ve been a part of it from the beginning from washing dishes or delivering or watching my babies and they still continue to put in 1,000%. My family is the most important, but secondly, the girls who work on my team. They truly understand what it means to be Earth and Sugar. They’ve taken that on and worked incredibly hard to help get us here. Even our production and delivery men care about Earth and Sugar and care about how they leave things. Our team members make all the difference.
You have to mentally prepare for the sacrifice, the hard work, and the time it’s going to take – that is what builds success. You have to have the mindset and the understanding that success doesn’t come right away. When I started, my husband said it’s going to take seven years for you to turn a profit. I thought he was crazy, but he was right. Be patient and continue to work hard.