|| Baker & founder of Teeny Tiny Bakery ||
I’m not an artist, but somehow in this medium I became comfortable.
I’m a stay at home mom with three kids. The twins are 7 and my youngest is four. I home school the little ones and run a daycare. During the day we adventure around. By night, after the kids are tucked in, I go to my commercial kitchen and bake. Then I’ll head home, rest, and do it all over again.
Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?
I was a teacher before I started my business. During my maternity leave, I loved to bake. When I was planning the twins first birthday, I discovered this specialized icing and played around with it. I started to make cakes and cookies and matched it all.
I always had a “makers” mindset. I’d look at something well crafted and think, “this is amazing, how can I do it myself?”
There are some limitations, like knitting. I tried it. It’s not for me. But baking — I always had a love for it. I’m not an artist, but somehow in this medium I became comfortable. Of course, every trade has tools. You still need a steady hand and you still need to understand how the icing and materials work.
I enrolled in Wilton cake decorating classes years ago. I learned about piping bags and tips, but everything else I picked up along the way came through the “cookiers” — that’s what we call ourselves the cookie world. Everyone is very friendly and willing to share. There’s also Youtube tutorials, blogs… you name it. If you find something you think is amazing, and you ask a baker, they will usually tell you. We all have ownership over what we do and are proud of it. But more often than not, we’re willing to share this joy with others.
If you could see future or past, what would you choose and why?
The future. Selfishly, I wonder if what I am doing right now will become something more; something bigger. Or maybe it will remain a side production. I would like it to grow, and it is growing, but sometimes I wonder if I will be successful enough to make it a career. I’m still a mom first, but more opportunities to share my goods would give me a chance to provide for my family while maintaining a business.
Is there a place in Toronto that you feel connected to?
There’s a cafe on Dupont called Cafe Con Leche Espresso Bar. We are friends with the owners. It’s hard in such a big city to find a place like that. Carlos and Sandra have been so wonderful to us. We go for dinner with them, and sometimes, we even go to the cafe after hours. It has a great family feel.
What is something you are looking forward to or dreaming about?
Professionally I would love to get into the One of a Kind show (OOAK). I have been in the spring show, but not the Christmas one. I feel like my business is growing so that when I hopefully get in next year, I’m ready.
There’s actually a wait list for the food portion of OOAK. Once you’re in, people don’t tend to leave. Some vendors have the option to split the show (5-6 days), but food is the full 11 days. It decreases the number of vendors they can have.
Etsy and OOAK online are my two avenues to purchase cookies online. Everything else is custom. I’ve started selling them in a cafe in Etobicoke and Cafe Con Leche.
Portrait photos: Cafe Con Leche coffee beans and chalkboard