Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Teehan.
Hi Courtney, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I grew up in a little town called Santa Clarita Valley, just outside of Los Angeles. As a kid, I always loved all things art and food, my grandma was an incredible painter and cook so I took a lot of that from her. I would always be drawing or coloring to keep myself busy, I was the kid in school that doodled on every piece of paper given to me.
As for my love of food, it was mainly sweets, I mean what kid doesn’t love sweets. It was an obsession of mine, I always had to look at the dessert menu anytime we went out, I would ogle at the pastries in the coffee shop, basically anything baked, I wanted in on it. When I was ten, I was watching Food Network and saw this competition show where they made these intricately detailed cakes and I was hooked. I saw two things that I was completely in awe with mashed up into one. I felt right then and there that this was my calling. Fast forward a few years, at age 18 I had the opportunity to work for a local Cup Cake Wars winning bakery and for the Ace of Cakes, Duff Goldman. These jobs were wonderful learning experiences, but I was not doing what I was dreaming of and I didn’t feel like I was being taken seriously. I felt stuck, I lost my passion and decided it was time for me to take a step back. I left those jobs to go be a server and bartender to make ends meet while trying to figure out what to do. I went back and forth for almost nine years of wanting to go back to my roots of being a cake designer, but the underlying fear of the unknown and not being taken seriously really messed with my confidence. I tried going back to college thinking getting an Art Degree would help me get the job I really wanted.
To be honest, I felt like it was a waste of time and money, I was never great in school and college was no different. So I decided to quit and do everything self-taught with tons of trial and error along the way. I started only making cakes and sweets for my friends, family and coworkers, still having the fear of actually just starting my own business. It wasn’t up until 2019 when I made my best friend her wedding cake that I really need to pursue my dream. So I went and made a super lame set of business cards, with just my name on them that said I made cakes. Clearly, I didn’t put a ton of thought and effort into it, I was working as a bartender and mentally exhausted from most of my days, it sadly got put on the back burner. Then 2020 comes in full swing. My husband and I both working in the restaurant industry lost our jobs, not knowing what the future was going to hold. With no end in sight, I decided to take the full leap and go for it. I made an Instagram page, got some business cards that actually looked somewhat professional and decided to apply for a Cottage Food License so I could legally sell baked goods out of my home. Once my license became approved, I put my head down and got to work.
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?
It’s definitely been a windy road for sure! Fear and self-doubt have always been my number one obstacles. In the beginning, I felt that I had to cater to everyone’s style, and I had to be able to do it all. It only struck me about six months into my bakery journey that I could have my own style and have people come to me specifically for my style. I accepted that I am not the jack of all trades cake designer and that is totally ok! I wanted to thoroughly enjoy designing my cakes, and I feel like that really shows in the finished product. It’s very common in the creative field to feel like you’re not doing enough or comparing yourself to others who have been doing this for years, so letting that go was and still is very hard.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
At Teehan Bakery, I specialize in beautifully designed wedding cakes using swiss meringue buttercream, usually decked out in beautiful fresh flowers, dried florals or some whimsical wafer paper. I also create fully customized sugar cookies, you think of it, I can more than likely put it onto a cookie! I am also really known for my tarts, but unfortunately due to cottage food laws, I am not permitted to sell them out of my home, so those will be saved for when I can afford a commercial space. I love adding texture and good bang of flavor into my desserts, it’s not just any kind of cake that you’ll have from me. I also look for the best quality ingredients to provide my clients with the best tasting sweets I can offer.
Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
I am completely blown away from the amount of support I have received. My community has been nothing but empowering and motivating for me from the very beginning. Honestly working in the service industry for so long made me lose some hope in the kindness that is truly out there. If someone were to ask me nine months ago if I expected to have the support I do today, I would have said they are absolutely insane. I have people who I had barely spoken to since high school, former coworkers and local small business owners dive right in and tell me if I ever needed anything they were right there. I am so grateful for this city and everything it has to offer, minus the traffic. That can go.
- Cakes start at $120
- Customized Sugar Cookies start at $60 a dozen
- Cake Tasting Boxes $40- done every 4 months
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.teehanbakery.com
- Instagram: @Teehan-Bakery
- Facebook: facebook.com/teehanbakery