What It's About
Pastry chef whips sugar into cold, hard cash.
Words of Wisdom
Like many of the people we've featured, Ella started out of pure necessity. Her 9-5 day job wasn't cutting it, so she looked for side hustle opportunities using the skills she already had. Ella proves that you should start where you are, invest in your business only as it grows, serve your customers well, and build an asset.
Ella Stone has earned four WeddingWire Couples Choice Awards, five Best of Wedding Awards from The Knot, was inducted into The Knot Hall of Fame, was featured in Cake Masters Magazine twice, and had her Game of Thrones cake go viral for a week when it was featured in Buzzfeed, Refinery29, Elite Daily, Martha Stewart Weddings, AND… was shared by Game of Thrones star, Emilia Clarke—The Khaleesi herself!
Notes from Chris
Episode 835Ella Stone is a pastry chef in Charlotte, North Carolina. In her words, she’s “in the habit of turning sugar into cash.” She started designing and baking cakes with no intentions of turning it into a business. But after nearly 10 years of side baking, and eventually full-time baking, she’s now opening a commercial bakery. In fact, since this journey began, she’s made over 700 wedding cakes, was featured in Cake Masters magazine, had a cake go viral when it was featured on Buzzfeed, and sells nearly $100,000 worth of wedding and custom cakes each year. But of course, it wasn’t always that way. How did she do it? Let’s take the top layer of icing off the cake. Ella said it happened slowly and began from necessity. She and her family needed extra income, and she was good at baking. This led to her starting Celestial Cakes and Catering back in 2010. It wasn’t long until she was putting 40 hours into her full-time job as a pastry chef AND another 40 hours at Celestial Cakes and Catering. When her son was born, she decided to quit her 9-5 and go all in with her side hustle, changing the name to Celestial Cakery. The first three years she worked out of her 75 square-foot townhouse kitchen. Later, after going full-time with Celestial Cakery, she moved into a larger house and worked out of her 225 square-foot kitchen. However, it wasn’t long until she outgrew that space, too. She was storing extra refrigerators and wire shelving full of supplies in her son’s bedroom, and even stopped making dinner at home because there wasn't enough room. Cakes were everywhere (is this a problem?). She finally had to remodel and add on on a roomier 800 square-foot kitchen area. Celestial Cakery now sells $100,000 worth of wedding and custom cakes per year. If all goes as planned, the estimated sales for her new brick and mortar bakery, SWIRL, should double that. What began from necessity has turned into security. The Cakery is a sweet, sustainable business!
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Celestial Cakery: Learn more about Ella's decadent success over on her website!
- Wordpress: Ella used Wordpress to setup Celestial Cakery, and here you can learn how to install your own Wordpress site in 5 minutes
- Tinder Matched Couple Swipes Right to Sell Cupcakes: After meeting on Tinder, a couple takes a long walk through Central Park and decides to sell cupcakes for $20 each. Surprise: it works
- Social Worker Bakes Cupcakes for The Walking Dead: After a stressful divorce, this social worker and mom needs to make money. She begins by selling cupcakes at the local market, then goes on to establish a sustainable business
- Fidget Spinner Cookie Sensation Leads to Sweet Profits: A media producer receives national attention when she tries her hand at making edible fidget spinner cookies
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