Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Liu.
Hi Lisa, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was closing down my family’s business a few years ago and it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. Not only was the process challenging, it was personal and complicated, I took a break after and traveled to Europe, South America, and Asia to reset and when began to wonder how I wanted to reengage with the working world. I started coaching about business and knew I had a passion for operations and creating efficiencies in the flow of business. I knew I wanted to start my own business because I wanted to create a culture where people loved coming to work and felt involved and rewarded. I also knew about myself that I cared for others wanted to make people happy and smile. I had always baked since I was younger and had turned out some delicious things from cookies to cheesecakes and Tiramisus. I visualized a sweet little bakery shop with afternoon lighting and sweet smells in the air as my kids did homework at some cafe tables in the front and other kids stopped by on their way home from school.
I wanted to create this for myself and my family, one that I didn’t have yet but would some day have. This roots back to when I was a young girl and would walk home from school and pass a special bakery that had my favorite cookies. Today, I can’t remember the name of the bakery or even the kind of cookie but I can close my eyes and still feel the joy and happiness that coursed through me with every bite. And so, I started on that journey, interviewing people in the baking industry to see if I could trade my business experience for time in their kitchen and then got my cottage license and started selling. I entered my first Farmer’s Market in South Pasadena July of 2021, and the Farmer’s Market people were incredibly welcoming, they loved my cookies and soon after, the south Pasadena neighborhood began to sample and support, and now we have lots of return customers and people have been so encouraging, calling me the next Mrs. Fields.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It’s been pretty smooth sailing. I am trying to make sure that my growth is steady and manageable. Who knows, this could be an excuse when I’m actually afraid of success because I really feel I have something great, tasty product and great branding (heck it was my old line of work to package fortune 500 company’s brands at events) I think it’ll take off but I don’t want to risk my quality or my customers experience because I was ready for the growth. So, I’m taking it slow and every so often pushing my comfort zone, riding it out and then saying okay no let’s coast for a couple of months to make sure we have everything in order, our processes tidy and efficiencies checked, then jump into the next opportunity for growth.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Being a baker is being an artist of food as well as a scientist. So much experimenting, testing and intuition come into the mix. My customers can really taste how much care and attention to detail I put into my cookies. The feedback I get directly from farmer’s market customers is always so raw and genuine, as they take a sample or two and instantly fall in love (not everyone of course but we have a very high conversion rate, I’m so warmed and proud). I care about each bite you experience in our cookies, I like to have layers of flavor and different notes that are experienced at different times through the cookie so it’s both deliciously expected yet new and different. Our Brown Butter Chocolate Chip is our number one seller and it’s because it’s simple yet complex, and just downright delicious and stays on your tongue, dancing with flavor. I specialize in flavors and textures, I cater to kids and adults, it’s the cookie you remember and the cookie that creates memories.
Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
Stay true to your mission. Who do you want to be? What do you want to stand for? How does that translate in your business and your community and can you maintain it. And if you still love what you do in 5 years and 10 years, then you’ve done it. Don’t be afraid to accept help, good people are surrounded by good people and you don’t have to do it all on your own. Be a part of your community in all the ways that you can, be not only a giver but also accept from others when opportunities present themselves. Believe in yourself, even though every day holds with its challenges and opportunities, a whirlwind of emotions (can I do it?, I can do it, I’m scared, I’m excited). Believe and then do! Just keep doing, step by step…
- Classic Flavors are $2.50 per cookie
- Premium Flavors are $3.00 per cookie
- Vegan & Gluten Free is $3.50 per cookie
- Seasonal Flavors are between $3-$5 for our Boulder Collection (5″ Big Cookies)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.cairncookies.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cairncookies/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cairncookies/