When it comes to baking, I didn't start until later on in life. Like...much later. When I was little, I used to save recipes on my computer that I'd want to try baking one day or I'd watch baking tutorials on YouTube for fun. I even remember watching Cake Boss back in the day when the show first started and I was hooked. Despite all of this though, I never thought about baking...until now.
    My desire to start baking started out with me being frustrated in 2019 about not finding Keto friendly desserts while out in public. All of the bakeries and stores sold traditional baked goods that were loaded with sugar and carbs so I learned to carry a Keto friendly snack with me at all times. Eventually I was happy with this little fix, but I still wanted the convenience of shopping for Keto baked goods while traveling. 
    Fast forward to 2023 and I get the wild urge to start baking more Keto desserts. So I started gathering up a list of all the recipes I liked and began baking them. Dimitar had tried some of them and was really impressed by tasty they were that he even mentioned that I should start selling them. I brushed it off at first but when I thought back on how there weren't any Keto bakeries in my area, it really made me consider the idea. 

    On one late night, I stayed up putting together a menu, my logo, researching the laws in my state, and trying to put together a plan on how I could bake from home. With a full-time job on my hands, I was worried that my time was too limited to consider starting a home bakery. Before I knew it, all of these limiting thoughts had cluttered my mind and I ended up putting off the home bakery planning until 2024. 

    I still had the itch to start a home bakery though no matter how busy I was. I continued to bake at home and even began designing my own website. I wasn't sure if I would start a home bakery, but here I was...checking off my to-do list. I even saved a shopping list on Amazon and browsed stores for the best deals because I couldn't stop thinking about baking. 

    When starting a home bakery, it's important to research your food cottage law because every state is different and some are more strict than others. In Virginia, you can sell baked goods just as long as you sell them in person and you aren't selling prohibited items like pickles. Knowing this allowed me to plan ahead but I eventually hit many road blocks despite my good intentions.

    Even after my website was done and my recipes were all tested and approved of, I kept having a horrible experience trying to break through on social media. Facebook Marketplace wouldn't allow me to market myself due to getting flagged, Twitter suspended my account after it was hacked into, and Craigslist wouldn't allow me to advertise my services either. It was frustrating and discouraging but I wasn't going to give up that easily.
    Eventually I ended up turning to Nextdoor, YouTube, Instagram, Tiktok, and word-of-mouth. I also created a Google Business Profile Page so that locals would be able to find me a lot easier. Even though my business is currently not open to the public yet because I still have supplies to get, I had the idea of starting a waiting list. One that locals could sign up for while incentivizing them with freebies and yes - it worked! I was able to build up waiting list of five potential customers which really boosted my confidence!

    With this waiting list, whenever I was ready to launch my business to the public, I could alert these potential customers with the hope of making my first few sales. The important part was staying consistent with advertising myself and not being afraid to reach out to strangers. I've also started giving out samples to coworkers, friends, strangers; while I don't have business cards yet, if I did, I'd do give this out as well. 

    While baking and gathering up the supplies is the easy part (at least to me it is), advertising and making that first sale is the hardest. Since I bake specialty items, it does put me into a niche area that would be easier to be discovered amongst all of the competition. However, committing to daily advertising myself is time consuming but worth it if it pays off and leads to regular customers.

    My goal with starting a Home Bakery is to not only offer Keto friendly desserts to those either doing Keto or on a restricted diet, but to also bring in some extra income. Working a Full-time job is ok but having extra income is a thousand times better. I'll be working more at the end of the day but who knows - maybe I can someday replace my job with baking!
    Either way, I've found a new hobby that I enjoy and I'm excited to see where it takes me!

Until next time! 


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