Talented, adorable and a die-hard fan of anything girly, Tessa Sam the owner/founder of Sweet Bake Shop clearly understands branding, marketing and giving her customers a sweet experience to remember!
Sweet Bake Shop is a boutique bakery nestled in the heart of Vancouver, Canada’s historic Yaletown neighborhood. They offer a selection of delicious cakes, cupcakes, cookies and other desserts daily and also take custom orders for those special occasions that deserve a little something sweet.
-In 2008, owner Tessa Sam fell out of love with her job in radio broadcasting and left to figure out what would make her happy.
-Spent the next two years working as a waitress, trying to figure out what the next step was. In her spare time, she would bake – spending hours poring over baking books and YouTube tutorials, soaking in as much as she could. Baking turned out to be her happy place.
-2010 she started Sweet Bake Shop, running it out of her home kitchen, taking time off to attend a variety of baking and decorating courses, including the Peggy Porschen Academy in London, England.
-By 2013 Sweet Bake Shop had gained significant popularity.
-Early 2014 Tessa decided it was time to move her successful home-run business into a storefront location. She opened her beautiful storefront ‘Sweet Bake Shop’ in the Summer 2014.
Sweet Bake Shop style + brand.
Tessa knew that she wanted a pretty space that reflected her brand – feminine, Parisian, clean and simple.
From the pastel pink walls, the French bistro look (chairs, white front counters, marble countertops, delicate crown molding), mini-framed food labels, and milk glass bowls and tea cups to hold merchandise, the stage is set to reflect the brand at every turn.
And I simply love the pink KitchenAid mixers, adorable ‘Eat Cake For Breakfast’ floor tile (located at the door entrance) cute dessert-themed prints, Penelope the pink guard dog, and overall girly style. It’s just plain fun!
Simply stated, marketing is everything you do to place your product or service in the hands of potential customers…and Tessa is rocking it!
You can clearly see why she has almost 60K Instagram followers. Her food photography is spot on… proper lighting (most shot in natural light) and a little styling (pretty plates, forks, tablecloths, etc.). And her mini photo sessions always reflect the brand perfectly!
Her website, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Pinterest platforms showcase the Parisian-inspired, girly, fun brand over and over and over again. A key strategy that focuses on the customer and an accurate reflection of the business.
I also love how she shares how-to video tutorials on the website. Not only did tutorials help her when she first started baking, but now they are a great way for her to share recipes, guidance, tips and tricks with others. And it’s great for SEO (search engine optimization) and driving traffic to your site.
Side Note: some businesses are making an additional stream of income for their business by teaching others within their industry. Pinch of Yum to other food bloggers and Jasmine Star to photographers are both examples of businesses rocking this second income stream.
Advice for new entrepreneurs + tips for someone who wants to open a bake shop.
When asked in a recent interview by Glitter Guide if she has any advice for someone who might be looking to become an entrepreneur Tessa said, “Love what you do and be prepared to work your butt off. Owning a business can be extremely challenging—but it’s worth it!”
Make sure your recipes are solid, hire and train staff members as best as you can and then learn to trust them, listen to what your customers tell you about your product (they know best) and be sure to ask for help from friends and family members. Whether you ask them to run an errand or help with folding cake boxes, you’ll definitely need their assistance at some point!
Tessa believes that you should be kind, work hard and amazing things will come your way. We agree!
No matter what your business is, this is one business to watch and emulate. She’s on the fast-track towards sweet success. Congrats girl!
Photography by Blush Wedding Photography