Today we’d like to introduce you to Maneeka Beasley.
Hi Maneeka, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Baking has been a passion of mine for the majority of my adult life. I started off baking family desserts in my early 20 bringing pound cakes and the all-time favorite Rice Krispies. Over the years I perfected my pound cakes and just became the go-to person to make them for every family function or for friends’ events. One day my two boys and I were sitting in the bedroom talking and they were talking to me about wanting to make money and they asked if I can make my pound cake and sell them in slices, of course, I obliged and that is when we came up with Flavorful Pound Cakes. We started selling slices in front of our home and eventually, we were discovered by a customer and were asked to come to sell our slices at the South East Farmers Market. During this time, I also decided to take a business course on learning how to run a business from start to finish, although I have a master’s in business, I just wanted the basics of understanding only running a business and I enrolled in Spring Gr. This cohort was and still is a great opportunity to help grow new small businesses. In 2016 when my aunt passed away, I discovered through my grieving process that I had more than just pound cakes and that’s when Flavorful Pound Cakes & Treats was birth, I started experimenting with treats such as cake pops, chocolate covered pretzels, Oreo, strawberries, cake jars, cheesecake shooters and of course custom cakes. So, for the past 5 years, Flavorful Pound Cakes and Treats was growing and been recognized by many but I also was burnt out having a career in health care and managing a small business. So, in 2021 I went to my first baking retreat and the amount of information I received there started having me thinking, what can I do that is a bit simpler and can have me focus on one thing that I can produce daily instead of the weekend and special events. So, for a whole year, I started strategizing and came up with the great idea to produce customer favorite cakes but in a jar and having experience selling them at vending events and being a success, last month in March we rebrand and change our name to Cakes by the Jar and dissolved Flavorful Pound Cakes & Treats. We now will be offering four Jar flavors and only taking cake orders by special request.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Being a small business cannot be described as a smooth road. You play all the roles in the business The Entrepreneur, The Manager, The Technician, Michael Gerber stated in his book The E Myth Revisited say you can’t be all three you have to choose one and if you do it must be the entrepreneur, and a mix of the manager in order for your business to succeed. I can definitely say I play all three roles in our business, that is why I have now decided to simplify things to be able to move from all these roles and be able to see the success of where Cakes by the Jar can be in the future.
Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am the owner along with my husband of Cakes by the Jar a small business bakery that specializes in making unique flavor cakes in Jars. I am known to make moist flavorful cakes that keep customers wanting to come back for more. What sets me apart from others is that I am full-time career women who are also a mother of 3 and wife to my husband of 14 years that shares me with the world to offer a sweet dessert that gives you an amazing experience of some of the people’s favorite childhood desserts in a jar, one being our Straw buh-buh berry Shortcake Cake in a jar that has a flavor combination of the strawberry shortcake ice cream bar made by Good Humor. Our brand represents family, fun, energetic, bright, and witty. We will be starting off offering four flavors Cake Jars, Vanilla Milkshake, Lemon Crunch, Chocolate High Toffee-Mel, and the Straw buh-buh Berry Shortcake. We want to feature a flavor of the month as well. You will be able to order on our new e-commerce website which will be up and running from late April to early May.
What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
We definitely see our business shifting very soon. We will be transiting from a cottage food business to a licensed food business this month in April. Being licensed opens us up to serving customers at a larger scale as we will be able to ship and sell our jars in all 50 states. This is an awesome opportunity for us. With this new shift we are hoping for substantial growth to be able to employ a team in the next year or two to continue the growth of the company and it to be a great transition to retirement in 10 years where the business will be well established.
- $7.00 for one 4 oz jar
- $27.99 for a pack of 4
- Email: Cakesbythejar0@gmail.com
- Website: cakesbythejar.com
- Instagram: Cakesbythejar0
- Facebook: Cakes by the Jar