How we started
My grandmother bought The Lafayette Motel & Restaurant in August of 1964. She was a huge inspiration, from beginning her own business in an era when women were ideally mothers, to not only running a business but raising two young girls at the same time. The one bank that would even grant her a loan told her that my great-grandfather had to cosign, and most people in town claimed she wouldn't last a month, six months at best. Fifty years later, my aunt and my mother own and run The Lafayette, and it's going strong. I think it has to do with my grandmother's determination and independence, which she handed down to her daughters and I then inherited, too.
Watching my family continue this business impressed, inspired, and even scared me. While I wanted so desperately to continue it on with my cousin (hopefully for another fifty years--or more!), how was I going to know the math, the stocking, the invoices, the taxes? These were, and obvioulsy still are, all things that are vital to a successful business. So, after I completed my Bachelor's Degree in English Literature at SUNY Geneseo, I went to Finger Lakes Community College and enrolled in their culinary program. I knew it was heavily business-based, specifically for the Finger Lakes. I learned not only the skills needed in the kitchen (which I had learned many of already from working under my grandmother, aunt, and mother), but also business mathematics, pricing a menu, building a restaurant/food-related business from the ground up, researching products and recipes, demographics, business leadership, and countless other skills and lessons that would assist me in running a business someday.
But I wasn't satisfied, somehow. I wanted more. I loved working at The Lafayette, but school was coming to an end, and I wanted to continue doing something for me. Learning from a book, pricing a few menus for a class grade, and creating a hypothetical business that may not even succeed in reality are totally different from running your own, real, tangible business. Money, taxes, bookkeeping, advertising, and producing a delicious product are important...your future is riding on them. And so the brainstorming began...
How we grew
A good friend's mom knew I cooked, and--more specifically--baked, and asked me to make the desserts for her other son's graduation from high school. I, of course agreed, and the night before the event, when I dropped off the cake and the pies, she refused to let me leave without being paid. I didn't know what to do. Why was this such a big deal? And then it clicked: people like homemade sweets. Some are far too busy to make them themselves, and buy them in supermarkets as a matter of convenience (and we can't ignore the fact that some of them are really, really good...). What if I could provide customers with delicious, fresh, homemade baked goods, made with real butter, real sugar, and none of the other icky stuff found on nutrition labels? What if sparkle and shine were part of the price, and quality was never skimped on? Could I build a business on doing something I absolutely love and believe in? And what would I even call it?
So, one day in August 2014, I looked it up: What do you need to start your own baking business? Two weeks later, I had my DBA. 'Sinful Confections' was born. One month later, the State sent me my sales tax ID, and I was officially in business. The Woodlawn Cemetery fundraiser last September marked a fantastic kick start to what is now my pride and joy.
Sinful Confections is all about you, my customers. Each order is baked fresh, without hydrogenated fats, high fructose corn syrup, or any of that icky stuff...except, perhaps, a few calories. So, it's okay. You can confess your sweet tooth to me. I won't tell. From cookies to cakes to pies, and so much more, Sinful Confections will satisfy your sweet tooth. Give me a call, shoot me an email, or leave a message in my Facebook page's inbox with your order. I want to satisfy your appetite for baked goods galore.
~Kathryn Casella, sole proprietor