Article by Tori Maidenberg
Development and Communications Intern
Jessica opened Crema Bakery & Café in April 2013 after owning a dessert catering business four years prior. However, her passion for baking started much earlier. As a young girl, Jessica remembers coming home from school to bake banana bread and cookies with her grandfather. Her days baking side by side with him instilled a lasting desire to sweeten the world with her treats. With the encouragement of her friends and family, Jessica decided to hone in on her dream and open the first bakery/café in the neighborhood.
The initial stages proved to be a challenging process, including finding staff who understood Jessica’s innovative concept to be, not just a bakery, but the center of a community, managing cash flow, finding ideal vendors, and lastly, managing to balance her time as a mother, wife, and entrepreneur. Even when confronting these hardships, Jessica always remained resilient, reminding herself that she’s “sacrificing now to build for the future.” The burdens that arose from the process of opening a new business, became much less heavy after Jessica discovered PeopleFund at a City of Austin Small Business Funding Fair.
Peoplefund gave Jessica the loans necessary to sign the lease for her business location, allowing her to turn her dream into a reality. Jessica was grateful that PeopleFund did not stop there, but rather continued to follow her process and help her every step of the way, saying that “when getting building permits took longer than anticipated, PeopleFund worked directly with me to ensure that I didn’t run out of money before the opening of the store.” Fast forward to today and Crema Bakery and Café is thriving with a diverse core of loyal customers who love the fresh food, pastries, and espresso that are made by scratch by her amazing staff. In a couple months, Jessica will be celebrating the first anniversary of her store, and looks forward to seeing her business grow everyday—first thing on the agenda is to expand the menu!
Crema Bakery and Café’s impact surpasses food, leaving a lasting impression on the neighborhood’s connectivity. The most rewarding part of having her own bakery, Jessica says, is that she “loves to be a part of people’s daily lives in big and small ways.” Just like the days Jessica used to bake in the kitchen with her grandfather, Crema Bakery and Café has that distinct homey feel that gives it the rare opportunity to touch the lives of families and individuals in the community.
Her advice for entrepreneurs seeking to start their own businesses: “Firstly, be prepared to sacrifice a lot, from friends to family to sleep, your life will get much more hectic. Secondly, make sure you have a good business plan and have someone who can keep you on track financially, because chances are you will be too busy to do that yourself. Thirdly, be careful who you hire—they represent you. Lastly, take care of yourself and everything will follow suit.”
For more information about Crema please visit their website.