And our story continues….
So we looked into selling our baked goods at local farmers markets. We were terrified!! I can remember our first market. It was selling at the downtown market on Wednesday afternoons.
Lori and I packed up are the car and headed out. We both we were not talking much, which is unusual because the two of us together we sometimes can get carried away, so we both were scared. This was the first time we were ever doing something like this. Sure sure we have been cooking for people and made treats for others as gifts but to sell our gluten-free vegan peanut-free no refined sugar baked goodies was something new.
I remember we both recited the Lord’s Prayer in the car….we need HIS help!!
We put up our tent and table. Put up our sign and said, “Okay here we go, no turning back!” And then people came (this market was for the lunch crowd) so a lot of people wanted dessert to get them through their afternoon full of meetings!! We had samples, lots of samples (which we learned is a must when selling your product, especially if it is gluten-free and vegan!) A lot of people we shocked to try something that was “free” of so many things.
First let me back up a little.
How did we know we wanted it to be a gluten-free vegan peanut-free sugar-free bakery?
Well because that is how we ate and thought that is what our bakery would be as well. Ever since we moved here we find out there was no allergy friendly bakery. So we started taking some of our family recipes plus created our own to be gluten-free vegan all naturally sweetened treats. Finding suppliers was a headache all together. Over time we perfected our recipes and Twin Cakes Bakery was born. And let me tell you, we spent hours in the kitchen creating recipes over and over again till they were perfect!! We had a lot of failures….trash full of bad recipes plus we enjoyed some of the not so bad ones ; ) We wanted our products to be different…to be better…to be healthier!! Our gluten-free baked goods are not your typical white rice flour, evaporated cane sugar, potato/tapioca starch filled, tofu infused gluten-free vegan treats. We wanted texture, flavor, so we created our own blend of wholegrain gluten-free flours, plus a few other tricks.
At the market, I remember some people’s excitement to find a treat they can eat…some could not have sugar, solved, some could not have eggs, solved, and most could not eat gluten, solved! It was a success!! Word was spreading fast about us. The only advertising we did was through word-of-mouth at the farmers market ; ) We love our customers!!!
Now the madness began…
Throughout our first months selling at the farmers market we got more and more request from individuals do we offer soy-free, corn-free, casein free, potato-free, rice-free products. I mean the request kept coming for us to make this without this and that. It was crazy. More light bulbs went off. Hearing all these request made us recreate all our products again to meet all these food allergies request. Which looking back on was not a very smart business decision, because we wasted more ingredients and time. Not good for a company just starting off….we are just people pleasers. Having this type of personality ended up hurting us…we eventually had to learn to say no.
By turning our bakery more into an overall allergy friendly bakery, it made our own personal diets to more allergy friendly. We started taking out soy and corn from our own diet. Finally we got some relief with our stomach issues!! The more we took out the better we were feeling.
So what about our raw products?
Well one day at the market a new regular came to our table and asked us to create her some raw foods. She was already vegan but wanted to try raw. She just got back from NY and ate at the prestigious Pure Food and Wine. After a long interesting conversation we were intrigued. So immediately after the market Lori and I started researching….and we fell in love!!
We loved everything about raw foods!!! The idea, the health benefits, the people…it all seemed to make sense. So back to the kitchen is was…but with new tools!!
A few months after we started this blog, to share our journey of raw foods.
Over the first two years of business we sold at 4 different farmers markets, done so many events for various charities and schools, done one TV show, and been in the local paper and magazines.
And then Lori became a certified Raw Vegan Chef and counselor and then we heard about the new culinary school opening…105 Degrees Academy, (check out my picture) and we knew we had to go!! Hello Matthew Kenney was running it. One of our biggest raw chef idols.
But which one of us would go?? We debated over this for weeks…time was ticking and we had to make a decision. So I enrolled. And the experience was amazing and I was lucky enough to spend it with another person I was thrilled to meet, GINA!! Love her!!
I sometimes still cannot believe I met Matthew and got to work at his restaurant….amazing!!! I was truly blessed for such an unbelievable experience!
Where we are now?
We still sell at farmers markets in the local area, side orders all the time for birthdays, etc, and getting ready to launch our Twin Cakes Bakery Online store….finally are online bakery that we have been talking about for years….our dream is coming true. We even more surprises ahead….much more to come from us.
It sure has been a long and hard journey, but all the ups and downs were worth it. We have learned so much about ourselves, how to run a business (out of your home), how to start up an online store, how to wear all the hats of running a business (bakers, cleaners, accountants, sales personnel, marketers, errand runner, financial advisor, etc) all while trying to have a personal life (eat healthy, workout daily, blog, travel) and relax somewhere ; )
Who do we did it for?
You!!! All our customers, our readers, our family and friends. For the little boy or girl who gets so excited when they can come to our table and PICK ANYTHING off it because it is SAFE for them to eat!! And now we get to share that with more people….
Blessed, I think so!!
Lori and I thank everyone for their support and patience. We have many more business ideas to come so please hang around for the ride!!
Phew….that is how we got to where we are today!
Till next time,