We had the good fortune of connecting with Sandra Daniels and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sandra, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
The reason Hippos and Hashbrowns exists is to help people enjoy quality, scratch made food without fuss. The idea of a food business came to me after our family moved back from Africa after 14 years. I wanted to help others enjoy the same kind of honest and real food I’d been cooking for friends and family for years. I have loved to bake since I first made cookies for my dad as a teenager. The appreciation people have for handmade food is one of the things that motivates me the most. So, when people started telling me about selling baked goods at a local farmers market, I decided to give it a try. The reaction from customers was immediately positive and Hippos and Hashbrowns has been going forward since that first market on March 17, 2016.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
All of our baked goods are made from scratch, using recipes I’ve been sharing with family and friends for years. I use real ingredients for maximum flavor and bake them just like I would if I was in my home kitchen. When we make biscuits, we mix and roll them by hand. Our signature crisps are made with 100% whole grains, nuts, seeds, and no oils, fats, or eggs. Our products are wholesome, and they are delicious. I think I got to this point in the business because I just kept walking where God showed me to walk. The learning curve has been steep, it has not been easy, but it has been good. Challenges always come in life, no matter what you’re doing. The trick is knowing how to respond. I think our life overseas really helped me develop the flexibility and the ability to bounce back. Hippos look friendly and fun, but in fact they are some of the fiercest animals on the African continent. You underestimate them to your peril.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The first place we would go is White Rock Farmers market. It’s where I got my Dallas start as Hippos and Hashbrowns and it is one of the best places to shop for fresh ingredients to make a fantastic meal. Then we’d head to the Dallas Arboretum for a stroll around the gardens. Dinner could be the rooftop patio at Stackhouse Burgers, the best burgers and onion rings in town! Shopping could be Northpark Center or Lula B’s. And for daily coffee time, we have to go to Well Grounded. I had an iced white chocolate coffee today and it was delicious. Good coffee, good people, good cause.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family and friends have supported me from the beginning. My husband encourages me daily and helps in whatever way he needs, from deliveries, sourcing supplies, and so many other tasks. My youngest son, who was only 12 when we started knows as much about the business as almost anyone. My daughter-in-law did the artwork for our original Hippo logo. You’ll find my niece and sons also selling at markets. A friend I’ve known since Jr. High makes our famous sourdough waffles every week. Hippos and Hashbrowns is truly a business of family and friends and I owe any success to all of them. I’m also grateful to local markets and the people who keep them going, plus the farmers who work so hard and without whom we would have no farmers market! Fellow bakers and business owners have also been a great source of knowledge and assistance. Local partnerships, small businesses, everyone working together is something you might not see everywhere, but it is strong here in Dallas.
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