Entrepreneurs Baking their Way to Success
“Life is short, eat dessert first.” The Last Crumb Bakery & Café is more than just a cute saying. After losing their mom to cancer, small business owners Joanne Lee and sister Julianne decided that there was no time like the present to follow their dream of opening up a bakery of their own.
In September 2012, The Last Crumb Bakery & Cafe opened its doors, specializing in what Joanne calls “North American Nostalgic baked goods.” Serving up everything from savoury scones to cupcakes and brownies, The Last Crumb Bakery makes everything from scratch and by hand in small batches.
After a career in HR, Joanne found she needed help with the logistics of running her own small business. “Being new in the restaurant industry I had trouble running the operations and managing costs/budgets. I had to learn everything from scratch, made lots of mistakes and really needed a mentor in the industry to help me get organized.”
Joanne joined the EMBERS Grow A Business program after a fellow entrepreneur suggested she apply, so she could get the support of a mentor and the coaching she needed to help her business thrive.
“It was the best thing that could happen to me and my business,” says Joanne. “Managing the finances was always a scary part of owning a business and I always avoided looking at the numbers – but having a mentor really help me crack down and understand how to use the numbers to help the business.”
Her EMBERS mentor helped her get the financial-side of her business under control so she could really concentrate on growing her staff and small business.
For Joanne, the next steps for her and The Last Crumb Bakery is looking at ways to improve the menu and services, and the possibility of opening up another location.
“Highlights are when customers say to me, ‘Thank you for having such a great place for me to visit’ or ‘That was so delicious’ – appreciation from customers is what reminds me that this was worth it.”
If you want to try true North American Nostalgic Baking, visit The Last Crumb Bakery & Café in person or check it out online at www.lastcrumb.ca.