Tech gurus teach food entrepreneurs the recipe for success.

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Last year, Munirah Small quit her job as a customer service representative to start the cake business. She had a lot of repeat customers, but after considering her expenses, she found she didn’t have much money – certainly not enough to pay her regular salary. So she applied for Break Fast and Launch to find out that she could do better.

Technical gurus teach food entrepreneurs the secrets of success.

Last year, Munirah Small quit her job as a customer service representative to start the cake business. She had a lot of repeat customers, but after calculating her expenses, she found she didn’t have much money – certainly not enough to pay her regular salary. So she applied for “quick start” and “start” to make sure she could do better.

Brenda salinas, NPR news.

 

Two employees of Alicia’s Tamales los Mayas prepare tamales in the La Cocina industrial kitchen. Alicia Villanueva, the owner, and her team produce 3,000 to 5,000 tamales every week to sell in the Bay Area.

SAN Antonio is one of the country’s new technology hubs. It’s also a rich food scene. Now, city officials are trying to connect the two communities through a program called quick start and start.

The plan links emerging food entrepreneurs to technical mentors who teach their businesses. These technical mentors have no culinary background, but they know how to start a business. The idea behind Break Fast and Launch is to inject some energetic entrepreneurial energy into SAN Antonio’s food scene. It is one of several “cooking incubators” that have sprung up across the country.

Last year city and federal funding began a “quick start” and a “start”. Last spring, 30 entrepreneurs competed. Munirah Small is part of the fall queue that begins in September. Last year, the 44-year-old mother quit her job as a customer service representative for AT&T and set up a cake company called Sweet Themes.

“The best way to describe my cake will be the focus of delicious food,” Small said.

She says she has found a lot of business through churches and community groups. Baking is now her full-time job and she has a lot of repeat customers. But she told me that after considering her expenses, there wasn’t much money left – not enough to pay her normal salary. Such small size is suitable for breaking Fast and launching to find out that she can do better.

The eight-member team meets once a week in a designated section of the public library to discuss business strategies with different mentors. When I first met the team in October, they were talking to Mike Girdley, the founder of the popular programming beginner’s camp called Codeup.

Girdley has no experience in the food industry. In fact, he has never tasted anything that entrepreneurs have flogged. Today they are talking about a common business mistake: underpricing.

“Girdley told them,” you’re going to price it at a low price, because you’re looking at the price of the technicians. You don’t have to see it from a customer’s perspective, do you? “He said these entrepreneurs need to ask themselves,” what’s the value to customers? ”

Small sizes, ingredients and designs range from $35 to $175. This makes her the same price as the grocery store – not her food competitor. Girdley says that if Small took up the value of her time, she would actually have money on every piece of cake. He told her you need to charge it three times.

Munirah Small cake sample. “The best way to describe my cake is the delicious food center,” she said.

Provided by Munirah Small.

Another lesson food entrepreneurs can learn from technology is how to sell their products through stories – the way apple has long pushed its products to creative types, Girdley says.

“People don’t necessarily buy your product, they buy your story — how to make the world a better place, or how to change people’s lives,” Girdley said.

The baby may be a baker, but Girdley says she doesn’t actually sell cakes: she’s selling a complete experience. “They’re not buying the cake from you, they’re interacting with you,” Girdley says.

Two hours after the fast break and release, Small went out with optimism and Kanye’s confidence. “I’m the best cake service in the city! “She declared.

Three weeks later, I visited Small in her Small apartment kitchen to see if she had implemented the changes her mentor suggested.

Thanks to Small’s creamy icing, the cloud of sugar rose from her upright blender, making the apartment smell delicious. Her small oven works 24 hours a day. There are so many cakes in the fridge that she has no room for her own food. This is a real sign of the company’s gains.

Since our last meeting, many small changes have nearly tripled, and she has started selling herself to a custom-made gourmet cake designer. She has been targeting the wedding market and the quincea-era market – a time when many hispanics love traditions and can celebrate weddings when a girl turns 15. These things can be as luxurious as a wedding, and Small has been showing them, convincing women that her cooking will impress guests.

She also USES social media to promote herself and holds cake tastings for potential customers. Earlier this month, she published a feature article in the local newspaper.

The novel, when she raised the price, something surprising happened. “When I recharged, people were more interested than ever,” Smalls said. “This is crazy!

Initially, Small worried about how her repeat customers would respond to her price increase. She explained that since she was a mature company, she needed to charge more. She says most of her repeat customers have proved receptive to new prices. Overall, her clients’ demographics are changing: her current wedding, the big cake era, the big business.

Of course, not every customer will join at a higher price. “I have people who are disappointed, and they’re like, ‘you’re too expensive,'” the novel says. “It doesn’t matter, because when I was in the mall, I couldn’t play shopping in every store – not now, it’s definitely not, and there’s no harm, no foul.”

Xiao is baking nine cakes in the next 48 hours. The smallest – a double chocolate cake, fed to eight people, took two hours to make – cost $35. She now sells for $85.

“I’ve stopped taking this simple approach,” Small said of her business strategy. She said she was glad she contacted the tech community for help.

“The analysis strategy is generic, you just need a system — whether it’s a computer, a cake, a cookie — and you need a system to handle it,” Small said.

Yes, she says, she is paying for herself now – making 35 percent of the profits.

She still gets guidance on breaking Fast and launching – until now, she has been focused on how to deal with her newfound profits. Her next goal is to leave her kitchen and move into a commercial kitchen, hiring five people to work full-time for her company

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