Delicious, decadent, and downright yummy.
Those are some of the words used to describe the baked goods created by our
next entrepreneur, Christina Moffitt, of Creme Cupcakes in Des Moines. She studied
business at DMACC, and she says that was the foundation that helped her turn a
hobby into a successful bakery business. We started in 2010. We were basically an
accident that turned into a business. I had a hobby and a passion for baking, but
I worked for corporate America. And started fulfilling my hobby on the
weekends, and I would be the person that would come in on Monday morning and
crash most people’s diets with sugar from whatever had baked over the weekend.
And people really enjoyed it and started asking me to purchase it. The turning
point for me was actually when I got a call to have a meeting about an event
called the Bravo Gala, a small event for a thousand people. And that, to me,
told me that this was an actual business and that my product was in demand, and
that I needed to figure out very quickly on how I was going to produce a thousand
cupcakes for an event in February. Figured out very quickly I needed to
find a kitchen to be able to produce these, and in December I got a phone call
saying, hey, we have a kitchen available. Heard you might be looking for one. And
we have a mixer, would that be helpful? I used her a lot for events that we do, or
weddings. We’re always recommending her. She’s got an amazing product. We use
local ingredients in our products and, when I say local, I’m talking about
things like Zanzibar coffee right next door to us roast our coffee. Chocolaterie Stam, we used some of their chocolates. We use, our boxes are from Clinton, Iowa. We used AE Dairy for our dairy products. We use Allspice down in the East Village,
and the reason for using that is that that keeps jobs here. It may not be the
cheapest option for us, but by investing back in our community with local
products, everybody wins. With that, I think what really drives me is our
customers. We get to be a part of everyday life celebrations, so the fact
that people allow us into their homes to be part of that one year anniversary, or
that first birthday, is what excites me every day. To be a part of a wedding,
where people are starting their journey together, is an honor. I consider it an
honor to do that, and just even the small celebrations, to see kids come in because
they got a home run at their baseball game or they got an “A” on a report card.
What also drives me is my employees here. I have made a commitment to have a shop
and to provide jobs for them. And leaving one corporate job, I was able to create
16 jobs in a small, little bakery, and I wonder, you know, if I wasn’t here, what
would they be doing? Would they still be in Des Moines, Iowa? Because a lot
of them probably would leave to gain experience in bigger cities because
there isn’t anything else like us around here. If an employee tells me that they
want to own their own shop someday, that is a factor to me that they are going to
be a fantastic employee because they have the vision, they have the dream, and
we can work together to create something wonderful. I don’t think of it as, they’re
going to steal my ideas and leave, because you really, as a business owner,
you want those entrepreneurs that want to see the business grow. You want to
work with people who are excited and innovative and bringing ideas and
concepts to you, and what better staff can you get than that? An idea is nothing
until you act upon it. So taking your idea and actually pushing it out to
people and not being afraid of somebody stealing your idea is very important,
because if you sit on that idea, that’s a lot of lost revenue and you’re never
going to know if your product is something that’s needed in demand or
unique until you start putting it out there. When you start a business, you’re
on your own. You wear every single hat every day and you have to be able to do
that until you have the resources to bring in partnerships and teams. You have
to have some type of guideline that keeps you in check, so I feel like the
first and foremost thing they need that you could do, is is build a business plan.
And it’s going to change, and it’s going to change often, and it has to be able to
change, but you have to have some type of rules to your own
business. For us, I think, in five years we want to look at expanding. And when I say
expanding, it could be other locations, it could be a product line, it could be a
cookbook, just something that continues to carry the Creme brand across the board.
Vada’s back with us to talk a little bit about cupcakes, what we just saw from
Christina Moffitt at Creme in Des Moines. And Vada, what you really like about
Christine, and why you think her business is successful, is the people that she
surrounds herself with, right? Absolutely. Well, she, what I noticed about her, is
that she want to surround herself with key people that actually that would
challenge her to keep her moving forward. And those kind of people you really need
to surround yourself with, because there’s so much competition out there,
and particularly in the restaurant business, also the cupcake business, as we
all know. But she seemed to do a good job of really surrounding herself.
She’s not afraid of, you know, someone stealing her idea, and I think that’s key
right there, because she thinks that, you know, they’re gonna, we got the
competition out there, it’s just what can I do better to improve my product and
services? One thing I noticed also, Molly, was that she mentioned that she, it was a
hobby. So, first of all, she’s very passionate about that, so. And the second
thing is that she says something about networking. Networking, and I think that’s
very key when starting a business, is that you can’t sit behind that desk
and expect someone to come to you. You have to get out there and meet those people.
And for one thing is, that each person you meet is kind of like a billboard on
your behalf, so they are telling other people about your products, especially
when it’s yummy like that.