By Becca Divine Davis, Education and Training Coordinator
Sharndell Lowe-Aitch has long been known as a baker by those around her. After years of encouragement from friends and family, Sharndell opened Cupcake and a Smile in the fall of 2011. For the first couple of years, Sharndell operated solely as a catering business. While working full time, Sharndell built up her business by baking at night and on weekends. By 2013, she was ready to purchase a food truck to increase her visibility and maximize the potential of the business.
Sharndell discovered PeopleFund through the University of Houston Small Business Development Center. With help from PeopleFund, Sharndell purchased her first food truck and expanded her business. For Sharndell, PeopleFund “means opportunity. They create a financial platform for small businesses like me to live out our entrepreneur dreams.”
Sharndell’s business model focuses on delivering cupcakes that are so delicious they make you smile. Excellent customer service sets Cupcake and a Smile apart from other food trucks in the area. Sharndell strives to create an ongoing relationship with each customer that begins with a simple introduction and ends with the tasty treat.
Customer satisfaction can certainly attest to the success of Cupcake and a Smile. Sharndell’s business has grown mainly through word-of-mouth referrals from her loyal customers. Through dedication and working hard, Sharndell has been able to grow her business. She advises other entrepreneurs to do the same to grow their own business.
In the future, Sharndell plans to secure more wholesale opportunities for Cupcake and a Smile. In the next few months, Sharndell would like to partner with local stores and coffee shops to sell her cupcakes. Those sales will help her achieve her ultimate goal of opening up her own storefront.
As a business owner, Sharndell is completely dedicated to creating and serving a quality product. She loves owning her own food truck because she has the opportunity to put a smile on her customer’s face every day. For her, “the happiness that results from delivering cupcake packages makes the early morning and late night baking worthwhile.”