First, here is a little background on who are the twins. We were born and raised in Fort Myers, FL. We have two older sisters; we have Italian/German in our blood so food was a main topic in our family. We were definitely that family who continual looked forward to our next meals!
Don’t you just love my little grin and how Lori is not looking at the camera?? Love our brown paper lunch bags??
From a very young age were taught to make our own food mainly due to having 4 girls in the house we all wanted something different.
And now we are all grown-up : (
Lori and I really had some unique food habits. We ate completely different things while growing up. Lori wanted everything plain and I wanted everything with either cheese or mayo (which Lori hated both). Our mom was smart, a great way to avoid many fights she made us start packing our own lunches. This was the beginning for us girls to fall in love with cooking.
When did we start baking:
Although our baking really did not start till we were in high school. Our second oldest sis, Jen, was the one that taught us to bake. She loved it and still does, but due to severe food allergies she no long gets in the kitchen as much. She would create some delicious things for us to enjoy…our favorite mint chocolate chip cookie sandwiches, cinnamon buns, her famous sour cream coffee cake, and much more. As she went off to college, we started playing in the kitchen. And realized we loved baking!
Our grandma’s side of the family were German bread bakers, so I guess you could say baking runs in our family. It is in our blood to make things for others. All throughout college we would bake for our teachers, family members and friends. Everyone loved it!! And so did we! We got more joy for baking for others than ourselves.
How did you know you were going to have your own company?
We both majored in business during college. During college we worked for an entrepreneur so we got to see what was involved in starting a company from scratch. We knew we would have our own company one day just not sure what that would be nor when. After college we went home for a year to figure out what we wanted to do with our life…like most college grads due, right??
What happened next?
Well to make a long story short Lori moved to Richmond, VA as Michelle moved to Denver, CO. Both of us felt we needed to finally spilt up after 23 years of being together! Well as we both worked for other companies we started realizing what we were doing was not making us happy! So the massive research began and our dream started to be come real on paper. After many hours of talking on the phone, emails, and texting we knew it was going to be an online bakery. We wanted it to be a different type of bakery but still was not sure exactly what that would be. We had so many crazy ideas running around in our heads.
How do you realize you had food allergies?
We started to experiment with alternative foods and diets. We tried all different types of cleanses, food combinations, etc. because all during college we suffered from stomach issues. This is a health problem that our whole family suffers from but we did not really know why we were always feeling so bad all the time. We thought we were eating healthy. Nothing really worked.
Then our health started deteriorating and we started eliminating things out of our diet. We realized our bodies did not like gluten, wheat, peanuts, and dairy. For us we were never upset that we could not enjoy certain foods. We were actually excited to finally start feeling better and actually eating this way helped make us eat healthier. And we slowly starting cutting back on our meat intake. We were never really big red meat eaters though we did like our chicken and fish. But after years of still not feeling better we decided to try anything that help and if that meant no meat, etc. then so be it.
We got more relief once we stop eating meat though we still were not 100% better. This lead us to even more confusion and determination to figure our health out.
Another year past and we both ended up in Raleigh, NC. Still working for other people, ugh. We kept working on the side as we also figured out what our bodies liked to eat and not eat. We then started creating meals that were safe for us and realized we wanted to help others that had limited diets.
Overtime and more research, our business plan changed (we wrote two different business plans, which is a must if you are thinking of opening a business). We decided to start as personal chefs and put our online bakery on hold.
How did we chose this career?
People reminded us since we love to bake and cook why don’t we do it for a living. It was like light bulb going off in our heads. So then came about Twins Kitchen Personal Chef Service, yep we both got certified through United States Personal Chef Association. And our first few months of business was a test. We both did not have good sales skills and had to learn to go out and sell ourselves. You must learn to grow thick skin! We gained some clients but realized there was still something missing. We were not having as much fun as we had thought having your own business would be.
Let me tell you starting up a company is not as easy as it may sound…unless you have tons and tons of money saved up. Now we had some savings, but still nothing to prepare us for what we thought. It takes a lot of work, many long hours and lots of sacrifices.
What happened next?
That was the missing link. Sure we still enjoy cooking but baking was what we really enjoyed and could do it all day long. So we signed ourselves up for farmers markets, and that is when everything changed.
To be continued…
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