Today we’d like to introduce you to Sasha Crescentini.
Sasha, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My mom and I are both bakers–she learned in an Ashram as a child and taught me everything she knew when I was a little girl. When my best friend was diagnosed with gluten intolerance, we began experimenting with healthy alternatives to the usual butter, flour filled desserts we were used to making.
We discovered a simple way to convert our recipes to be both Gluten Free & Vegan, without sacrificing flavor. Our friends and family began going crazy for our creations and we eventually realized there was a demand for healthy, tasty snacks.
We founded Bakeology in September 2012 and started making cookies in our home kitchen. The first bag of Cookie Bite hit the shelves in March 2013 and the rest is history.
The Cottage Foods Law made it possible to have our operation in our home kitchen. So, we began knocking on local stores doors, getting everything, we needed to have a proper business and we started making batches at home.
We did everything on our own – from making the product, selling the product, and delivering the product. We slowly went from 1 store, to 6, to 12, to 18 and on and on.
Once we got to about 20 stores, we found a local distributor who could deliver to all of our customers. When we got to about 30 stores, we decided to find a co-packer who could make our recipes for us. Both of these decisions allowed us to focus on adding more customers.
As time went on, we discovered the importance of really connecting with our consumers in the form of demos a.k.a sampling our products in stores. To this day, we have a very large demo program, with brand ambassadors all over the country.
In 2016, we opened up our own Cookie Factory where we make all of our snacks in-house. Now, Bakeology can be found in 500 stores (and growing) across the USA.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There have definitely been struggles. The most difficult part was in the beginning, before we had our defined roles. My mom and I had to really learn how to respect each other’s opinions and really listen to each other with an open mind.
We have learned to be patient with each other as well as with the business growth. We chose the path of gradual growth, which has helped us minimize our mistakes. When we do make mistakes, they are small, and easier to rectify. Some companies pump millions of dollars into a business without really knowing too much about it and end up having million-dollar mistakes.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Bakeology story. Tell us more about the business.
Bakeology is all about making snacks that make people do the happy dance. All of our products are Gluten Free Certified, Vegan, Non-GMO and really tasty.
Our line of Crunchy Cookie Bites is preservative free, all natural, low in sugar, and made with ingredients that really lift you up.
I am so proud to say that our products are healthy AND delicious. It’s a rare combo these days. I am also happy to say that we are a family run company–it’s literally me, my mom and my husband, and the amazing kitchen crew.
What sets up apart is the fact that we use Organic Coconut Oil instead of Palm Shortening. We also use Organic Flax Meal to bind our Cookie Bites, rather than Eggs or any other funky ingredient.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I’m not sure if I believe in good luck and bad luck. I think it’s just luck and we all have the capacity to be lucky. The difference between those that are lucky and those that aren’t lucky is the level of preparation they put forth. As I once heard, “Luck is preparation meeting opportunity”. The day gives us moments full of opportunities. Are we confident enough to say yes or no? Are we strong enough to move forward? Do we look at a moment and say, “Man I have bad luck!”, or do we say, “I have something to learn and grow here!”?
I believe in persistence and hard work which leads to amazing things.
If you work hard, connect with people, reach out to people, have integrity, share what you have to offer, make that scary phone call, you will be surprised with what’s waiting on the other side.
Yes, you could cross paths with a certain person which can lead to an amazing deal, but you have to put yourself out there, be honest, and work to seal the deal… Others may look at your success and say, “You’re so lucky!”
It’s you who prepared for the opportunities that life put in front of you.
- Website: www.bakeologysnacks.com