By: NetWork Kansas
Angie Gaede completed the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program in Thomas County during the Spring of 2018. Below she talks about the impact that this program has had on her and how it has helped her launch her bakery, Oasis Bread Shoppe.
Q: Describe your business and how it began since participating in the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program.
A: I have a home-based bakery which focuses on artisan style breads and pasta. The only sweets I make are a variety of cinnamon rolls. Before taking the Ice House Entrepreneurship class, I occasionally baked for people who knew I loved to bake and I had always dreamed of having my own catering business. I took the Ice House class to learn more about the business side of running a business. I knew how to cook - I wasn't so sure about the rest. Taking the class gave me a different perspective. I realized I needed to focus more on one thing and maybe start small and then see what happens. I also realized I didn't want to give up my day job. I work in an office Monday - Thursday, and I needed to be able to work around that.
Q: What were your key takeaways from participating?
A: Having the special speakers each week were very helpful! Especially since each one was a local entity, it was nice having a local face that you knew later you could turn to when you were really in that situation - and I used those people. I kept the business cards they handed out. I called them as I was writing my business plan and asked questions. When I needed REAL numbers and REAL answers that pertained to MY business, I asked those local faces that were in our classroom giving advice. And I still use some of them today to help me in my business.
Q: What are your plans to grow your business in the future?
A: I'm in the process right now of moving my bakery from my home kitchen to our attached garage. The bakery has gotten so big that it's taking over my house! (I want my house back). Once it's in the garage with more space, we can convert from a home-based bakery to a commercial kitchen and have more options. I already have a commercial sized mixer and a commercial sized oven (which is waiting in the garage). I only need a couple more pieces of equipment before my commercial kitchen is complete!
Q: How do you think the entrepreneurial mindset will help you to move forward?
A: The community has been so supportive of the bakery and I've had many people want me to move into one of the empty buildings downtown and have a storefront. What they don't understand is the cost of doing that! Most of the buildings there cost over $100K and monthly utility costs are astronomical! Having a storefront just doesn't make financial sense for a small business like myself. The entrepreneurial mindset says, "take it slow, work hard, pay for things as you go, boot strap it, and don't go into debt!" And that's what I'm doing! I still work my office job. I take orders for the bakery Monday through Thursday and bake on Friday (sometimes Saturday). Hopefully by April, I will have been in business one full year, and by working hard and spending wisely, I will have my commercial kitchen DEBT FREE. I can be in the bakery more, do what I love and make money doing it! It won't be downtown where everyone expects it to be, but I'll be in my own space - not someone else's!
Check out the Oasis Bread Shoppe website here.