Today we’d like to introduce you to Yo Clark.
Hi Yo, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
It all started with just one bite. Back in 2015, my husband (Tanner) and I invited some friends over to make caramel apples. We had just moved to Mesa, AZ as a newlywed couple. It was Fall and sounded like a fun/fairly simple date night idea. We googled how to melt down caramel and decided on a topping that sounded fitting for the holidays, Apple Pie. Turns out, making caramel apples IS NOT as easy as it looks and our apples turned out disastrous. I’m talking, Pinterest fail to the max with the burnt white chocolate dripping everywhere and almost nothing stayed stuck to the apple. However, the pieces we were able to somewhat salvage still tasted…amazing. Fast forward to a couple of weeks later. I found an old family recipe that Tanner’s parents had been using for years. I found that this secret hidden caramel recipe made ALL the difference. The caramel apples weren’t pretty by any means, but I knew there was potential because they tasted so dang good. I kept practicing and made some for Tanner’s birthday the following spring and soon after, I was getting regular requests for my caramel apples!
From there, word slowly began to spread and by Fall 2016, I was in full on hustle mode to share my new favorite treat with everyone I possibly could. I didn’t start making caramel apples with the idea to turn it into a business. It was just something I truly loved to do (and eat) and it felt very natural to want to share it with others. I was, and still am, very much addicted! It’s been a DREAM to have been able to share what I love with so many local friends. I have made thousands and thousands of apples in the past five years and I’m still NOT sick of making them! I enjoy the process and I love bringing small bites of happiness into my community. In late 2018 my husband and I started designing our own traveling caramel apple trailer to use for farmers markets and local events like weddings and corporate parties. We built the entire trailer from scratch, starting with just a flatbed trailer and a few tools that we have accumulated in our backyard. We just had our second baby girl and my caramel apple orders were keeping me very busy! We attended our first wedding with the caramel apple trailer in March of 2019 and started attending weekly farmers markets! We continued to sell over 150 apples every Saturday and book events with local brides and some global companies such as Microsoft. Building our trailer was a pivotal moment in our little business and helped us expand our customer base and following tremendously.
In September 2019, I hired my first two employees and started making our caramel apples in a commercial kitchen making an average of 300-700 apples per week annually. In April of 2020, my dad passed away suddenly and unexpectedly due to complications of Covid-19. He was young, active, and very healthy. My husband and I had to make the difficult decision to pack up and move our family from Arizona to Southern California to be closer to my sweet mom and 15 years old sister. They have a 10-acre farm and family business that we were able to help with. After the move to California, we decided to sell our beloved homemade caramel apple camper to a family bakery in Phoenix and reevaluate our business model. In September 2020, I started creating my online caramel apple course. I filmed a 30-minute professional step by step video on how to make my caramel apples using my top secret caramel recipe.
The online package includes unlimited access to the video and a beautiful professional PDF with bonus recipes and all of my tips and tricks to perfecting my top selling recipe. My goal is to have families able to make their favorite caramel treats in their own homes for generations to come. I am also hoping to inspire entrepreneurs and other young moms all over the world (I have students in other countries using my course!) to create their own start-up caramel apple business. Before the release of the video, I had just over 50 pre-sales and before December 2020, I had sold over 80. Majority of my students are local followers from Arizona and California. This year I hope to expand my customer base to individuals who have not yet tried my caramel apples but would love to learn how to make their own! Currently, I am still taking custom orders through Instagram here in Simi Valley. I am focusing more on my time raising our three little girls, building my connections locally, and adding to my online course.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Entrepreneurship is a crazy ride, especially while being a stay at home mom with three small children! Owning my own business has definitely been a roller coaster of ups and downs, but it has been the biggest blessing for me. I studied Business Entrepreneurship in college and having this little side hustle has been my creative outlet and allowed me to grow more as a wife and mother. I have truly enjoyed all the people I have been able to meet and being able to participate more in my local communities. My husband has always been a huge help and tremendous supporter! My biggest struggles have been learning how to manage my social media, learning how to train new employees/delegates, and maintaining good business finances!
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I make Gourmet Caramel Apples and through and online course teach others how to do the same. This year I hope to create an online course that teaches others how to build their own small business. I am most proud of the connections I have made with my customers. I appreciate and love them so much! Their support and the support from my family has made all the difference. I am also very proud of how many people tell me they never liked caramel apple until they tried mine!
Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
I have made a huge shift to building my business online and being able to sell online products such as classes, courses and someday Not Your Granny’s Apples retail products.
- $8 for local pick up caramel apples
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.notyourgrannysapples.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yo.apples/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Yoapples
- Other: https://gumroad.com/yoapples
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