This week I got to sit down with a woman who’s side hustle is BOOMING! I was lucky enough to have a good chat with Pam Hackett, The Cupcake Lady, and ask her a few questions about her side business. So for anyone looking to start a Baking Side Hustle this post is for YOU!
The Lady Behind The Cupcake
Hi! My name is Pam, I’m 36 years old, I live in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and I work a full time position at the University of New Brunswick. When I was young, my mother really enjoyed baking. So as a child, I spent a lot of time with her in the kitchen and picked up some basic baking skills. Over the years, I worked on my craft, improved my baking skills, and took a particular interest in cupcakes. I enjoyed the fun of coming up with unique decorations and themes. As time went on, I became more and more interested in the actual recipes. What makes a great tasting cupcake? And what makes a great tasting frosting? Because of this interest, I have perfected my recipes and can create not only great looking cupcakes, but great tasting ones as well!
Getting This Side Hustle Started
In 2012, I started baking cupcakes for friends and family. I would take them to events & family functions and was getting great feedback about them. My mom started printing pictures of my cupcakes and displaying them at her work, so most of my business came from these pics and word of mouth. I was able to get the ball rolling and soon I was fulfilling orders for birthday parties and various holidays.
Turning Passion Into Profit
Earlier this year, I decided to take my business beyond the realm of family and friends. I put a clear action plan into effect. My goal is to get orders for special occasions (birthdays, weddings, holidays, and more). So I’ve done the following in order to gain exposure:
1. I created a dedicated Facebook Page for my business, The Cupcake Lady. I post the flavours and designs that are currently available, hold contests, let my Facebook fans vote on what flavours they want me to create next, and most importantly I can take orders from customers.
2. I know that tasting is believing, so I have a table at the Fredericton Flea Market on Sunday mornings. People can visit my booth and buy a cupcake. This gives them a chance to try my product and put a face to a name. Not only is this a good way to sell a few cupcakes, but when a customer is in need of a sweet treat for a special occasion they’ll think of me.
And So Far It’s Working!
Before August, I only promoted through word of mouth or my personal Facebook page. But since putting this plan into effect, I’ve had five orders in the month of August and four in September. I also have a wedding this month and a catering gig in December. It’s still too early to calculate an average monthly income, but in my first week of promotion, I did 3 orders of various sizes and made $180. I do track all of my sales and expenses and I’m on the positive side so that makes me happy. My goal is to average $300 per month including the sales I complete at the flea market, giving me a projected revenue of $3600 for my first year of promoted sales.
Besides Ingredients, Have You Invested In Any Special Purchases For This Side Hustle?
It was easy to get started especially since I had all of the tools I needed already at home. One item that I’ve invested in is plastic commercial cupcake containers (single, six-pack and dozen) so that customers didn’t need to return a container back to me. They are really nice interlocking containers that hold cupcakes perfectly in place. These containers have helped me with large orders and weddings that I’ve catered. They also give my business a nice level of professionalism because customers aren’t fumbling around with their orders. Other than that, the initial cost is very low.
What Are The Pros & Cons To Your Side Hustle?
For me, I enjoy baking, especially cupcakes. The cupcake market has grown in recent years and is still growing, making this a great business to get into. I’m someone who likes to be productive as well as make people happy. I’m able to do both through this side hustle. It’s a great feeling to bring someone joy through food.
On the flip side, because I’m so passionate about it, I can sometimes spend too much time on the prep work, which I’m not necessarily paid for. Another downside is shelf life. My product can’t be kept for resale (unlike a product that isn’t food based). Hot weather is also a con because my car isn’t refrigerated and frosting melts very easily in the summer months!
What Does The Future Hold For Your Side Hustle?
Right now I’m focused on growing my customer base using my current action plan. I’m also starting to branch out into the corporate event world, and have recently started doing promotions on my Facebook Page that encourage the business community to get involved and sample my products. The possibilities are endless with this Side Hustle and I’m really excited to see what the future holds!
A Big HUGE Thank you!
I really want to thank Pam, The Cupcake Lady, for letting us into her business and sharing her side hustle strategies. I had the pleasure of tasting a cupcake and OH MY GOODNESS IT WAS DELICIOUS!! Seriously. I’m not even exaggerating when I tell you that I inhaled that chocolate nutella cupcake like it was my last breath (ok, ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but man it was good!).
I KNOW Pam is going to be flooded with Christmas orders in the coming weeks so I would highly suggest you visit her page and get your order in ASAP! And if you live in Fredericton, don’t forget to visit her at the Fredericton Sunday Flea Market.
Start YOUR Baking Side Hustle
Have you thought about turning your baking passion into a profitable side hustle? Here are a few resources that will help turn your dream into a reality:
1. Turning Cupcakes Into Cash – This E-Book package covers EVERYTHING! Like recipes, branding, marketing, time management and of course a profit calculator. I would love to hear some feedback on this e-book so let me know if you’ve purchased it.
2. Living Healthy With Chocolate: Paleo/Primal Dessert Cookbook– Cupcakes not your thing? There are TONS of unique niche dessert markets that are on the rise. One of them being the healthy & natural dessert market. This cookbook will help guide your recipe development so you can carve out your own niche business. It comes with a 60 day money back guarantee, which I really appreciate because it means this author really stands behind her work.
3. The Business of Baking– Do you prefer a hardcopy book? This paperback guide is available on Amazon. It has EXCELLENT reviews and will act as a resource for beginners and pros alike. I’m not gonna lie, I kind of want this book. The excerpts that I’ve read are both informative and humorous, and even though I’m not starting a baking side hustle anytime soon, I just really enjoy that style of writing.
Get Up And GO!
Like all side hustles, the only way to profit from them is to get started. Grab a couple of resource guides, get on your apron, and get baking! A Side Hustle start-up doesn’t have to be expensive or have big lofty goals. Selling to your friends, family, and social network is a GREAT way to pull in extra cash for you and your family.
So Happy Hustling Everyone and I look forward to tasting all of your delicious treats!