At Patriot Software, we’re committed to providing online accounting and payroll software that lets entrepreneurs keep their time and money for what they love: running their small businesses. Each month, we put the #PatriotSpotlight on our small business customers. These stories both celebrate and inspire U.S. small business owners.
For this month’s #PatriotSpotlight, we spoke to Andrew Young, pastry chef and owner Bubble and Brown Bakery in Salt Lake City.
What’s the inspiration behind Bubble and Brown Bakery?
I have been baking, cooking, and teaching in the industry for over 16 years now, and have worked in some amazing hotels, resorts, cafes, restaurants, and bakeries all over the West Coast. After a quick business stint in San Diego, CA, my husband and I moved to Salt Lake City (having lived here once before), and decided it was time to focus on our own passions, rather than give our passion over to someone else to take credit.
In February of 2014, we officially launched Bubble and Brown Bakery, knowing that we wanted to stay small at first, selling at local farmers’ markets only. Staying local allowed us to keep our startup expenses low, and also tested the waters and see if the Utah crowd was excited about our approach to pastries. The name, a common cooking phrase, was something we stumbled upon while making a batch of caramel. Like our name, the process for making caramel involves raw sugar and water first bubbling and then turning brown.
How have you made your bakery stand out in the burgeoning Salt Lake City food scene?
In the food industry, it’s not uncommon for businesses to feel like they need to be everything to everyone; but we’re not running with the pack in that regard. We do what we do well, and it’s okay that it’s not for everyone! There is clearly no lack of bakeries or baked goods in the Salt Lake area, but we think our approach is unique and intriguing enough that those that like our brand will be happy with what we offer, when we offer it. Keeping our menu seasonal and ever-changing also allows us to keep our customers’ interests peaked, so we don’t have to rely on gimmicks or coupons to get people back in the door.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
We set out on a mission to do pastries the way we wanted and to deliver the best product we could to our customers. We didn’t waver on this idea, held steady on our approach, and stayed true to our mission, even when business was down. It was because of this strength and perseverance during our first year that we saw incredible growth in year two. Our customer base continues to grow, and we could not be happier with the response we’ve gotten. We haven’t had to compromise on that mission. We’ve since opened a brick-and-mortar shop–three months later, and it’s still going strong!
How has Patriot Software played a role in growing your small business?
Starting small, we didn’t require any staff for our first two years, remaining a family-run business, and keeping costs low. Once we acquired a full-time retail/production space, it was clearly time to expand our staff, but also remain as hands on as possible. We wanted to ensure that we were properly training our staff.
We needed to find a payroll program to help us stay hands-on in our day-to-day operations, and Patriot Software stood out as the best. Their staff has been incredibly helpful from the start, making the entire process easy to understand. When our first quarter reporting was due, the help desk assisted in making sure all our reports were sent in on time and to the correct entities. I so look forward to having Patriot around as we continue to grow.
Any words of wisdom to people hoping to impact the community with their own small business?
Know your communities well! Ask your customers questions and get feedback, get to know them and their needs, chat with other small businesses, work together, and above all: support each other! Starting at the local farmer’s market made this entire approach all the easier–knowing that a rainy market day for us was the same for our neighbors! We got to know our fellow food artisans and farmers well, working together in collaboration and marketing, something big-box companies don’t do that often. We buy from each other as often as we can, and share success stories and best practices, knowing that the stronger the community, the more successful we all can be!
I do this because it’s what I love…and I know some people will call it a bluff, but it’s true. At the end of the day, it’s about making something I know someone will enjoy, without guilt or calorie concern, because it tastes good, and it’s okay to eat things that taste good. I grew up baking around the age of 11 and haven’t stopped since. My grandmother, Jean, is an amazing baker and my grandfather, Raul, was a fantastic cook. I grew up surrounded by food made from the heart, and their passion drives me. Passion is important in small business, and it’s the defining factor for me, especially when it comes to being successful!
You can find Andrew at the Bubble and Brown Bakery Morning Shop, and at farmers’ markets throughout Salt Lake City.
Every small business has a story worth telling. We’d love to hear yours–share your story and photos with the hashtag #PatriotSpotlight so we can check it out.
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