We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Olson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I am originally from Chicago and we have been in Dallas for 7 years. My background is in hotel/restaurant management. I have a passion for people. As a child I used to play restaurant in my basement and have always wanted to have my own restaurant. A successful home bakery is a great start! I have worked in the service industry since I was 15 years old. My background has taught me a lot about customer service, people skills, health code compliance, as well as the back side of the industry such as financials and supply costs. I have been blessed to have learned these skills and was able to implement them immediately as my business grew instead of learning them.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Many people don’t know that my business started because my husband lost his job. I was missing the comforts of home and started baking banana bread and giving it to friends. While I do have a background in hospitality and love to cook, I would tell people I wasn’t a baker. But people kept asking for more, cookie and cake, and cupcakes, etc… I was only selling banana bread for the first year. Then I starting doing sugar cookies. But people kept asking about cakes! Finally I gave in and made a 4 layer chocolate cake for my neighbor’s birthday. I watched so many videos on You Tube and Instagram about how to decorate cakes. Thankfully I had an amazing buttercream frosting recipe already from my mother in law. I made dozens of cakes and gave them away for free so I could practice all the baking and decorating techniques. I finally felt confident enough to start charging for them. I was able to quit my job about a year and a half ago and just bake. I hardly sell any banana bread anymore and focus on custom buttercream cakes. I have learned so much from this journey, but most importantly, never say you can’t do something. You don’t know unless you try. Second, you can teach yourself anything you want. You just have to have the patience to do it. You have to be prepared to fail, and try again.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, obviously I love food. I for sure would go over to Shops of Legacy and Legacy west. Drinks, food and good people watching. I love the casinos in Oklahoma so maybe a trip up there for a night with dinner and drinks. I’ve always wanted to go to the Texas wine country, so maybe a couple days there exploring as well!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh my goodness there are so many people who have guided me through this journey and I am so thankful. My husband first and foremost who has supported and pushed me to keep moving forward. My parents who are in Chicago. They were so, so thrilled when I started selling my baked treats. “Rachel, this is what you’ve wanted since you were a child. You are living your dream.” My sister from another mister Loreena Yeo has been by my side from day one, “Rachel you need to sell your banana bread. What is the worst that could happen.” Then as my business grew my neighbors supported my business so much. I was able to have access to a commercial kitchen in Aubrey thanks to the Hightower family. Which allowed me to do pop up events at Nordstroms, thanks to Shalisa Graham. Through that I met more bakers and we all continue to support each other. I do want to give a huge shout out to my mentor. Thea Heussner, aka Bakermama. I looked up to her since before my business started and am so honored to call her my friend. Last but not least, my son. My original logo of the little boy with chocolate all over his face. He’s not so little any more and has been such a huge supporter for everything I do, and the best taste tester.
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