Mary O’Brien, Aurora Treats Company founder, is a well-known bakery owner who specializes in creating homemade pastries, breads, cookies, cakes, and other sweet items. What began as a hobby for Mary soon turned into a booming business. Now she and her staff fill orders from all around the country. They supply goodies for birthday parties, business luncheons, afternoon snacks, or any occasion when something sweet is necessary.
When you ask Mary about her career, she explains that she got her start as a young girl in her mother’s kitchen. She would experiment with recipes and mix ingredients together to develop her own concoctions. Soon, she was producing trays of brownies, sheets of cake, and plates of cookies that friends, family members, and neighbors grew to crave. They would beg Mary to bake up treats for club meetings, parties, and special dinners. Even as a young girl, Mary realized that she could turn her talent and passion for baking into a hobby.
Though Mary learned much of what she knows through trial and error on her own, she also credits her success to her time at The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College in Chicago. During her time at this prestigious institution, Mary O’Brien Aurora studied with the baking industry’s finest professionals. She learned about proper cake decorating, bread baking, and the art of pastry baking. She also studied how to create mouth-watering candies and ice creams.
Mary enjoys sharing her knowledge of the industry with aspiring chefs in her community. She frequently hosts workshops at The Aurora Treats Company, where bakers of all ages can come to improve their skills and learn from experienced cooks. For adults, Mary teaches courses on artisan breads, cake decorating, and gourmet desserts. For young baking enthusiasts, Mary offers an introduction to baking, where kids get a hands-on look at sculpting croissants, baking pies, and decorating cupcakes and sheet cakes.
The Aurora Treats Company has also become a popular spot for kids’ birthday parties. For those who are tired of bouncy houses and magic shows, these parties are a unique way to celebrate the birthday boy or girl. Partygoers get to select a flavor of cupcake, and then decorate their treat. They have access to dozens of types of frosting and toppings. They can then compare their creations with other guests, before devouring their cupcake. Children are thrilled to get involved with the baking process.
The shop’s diverse menu and tasty homemade selections appeals to a diverse client base. Whether you’re looking for a plate of cookies to greet out-of-town guests, or you’re searching for some artisan bread to pair with your meal, you know you’ll find it at the store. If you have a craving that isn’t met by that day’s selection, Mary O’Brien Aurora and her team will whip up an order especially for you.
Mary O’Brien Aurora on Starting a Bakery
Mary O’Brien Aurora is frequently met with questions about how she created such a profitable business. Other aspiring bakers are hoping to start their own version of The Aurora Treats Company in their respective cities. To these individuals, Mary offers this advice:
Know the industry
Before diving headfirst into a new business venture, it’s important to take time to get to know the industry you plan on joining. You should research national companies, as well as competitors in your area. You may find strategies that national brands have used that you can modify and use in your own business plans; you will also begin to understand how to differentiate your shop from others in your area.
You may realize that all of the other bakeries in your area specialize in cakes and cupcakes, but don’t offer a wide selection of breads and pastries. You can provide these items, and give your clients a reason to choose your business over another. If the shops in your city have high prices, keep yours moderate to appeal to those who don’t have a huge budget to spend.
Choose the right spot
Your location will help to determine the success of your company. If your business is in a dangerous area, you’ll have a hard time attracting customers, no matter how delicious your treats are. If you choose to lease in a location where rents are high, it may become difficult to get your business off the ground because you’ll have to funnel all of your profits into paying to use the space for your company.
Pick competent employees
Your employees help to represent your brand; they help you create the baked goods, and they serve customers. For this reason, it’s essential that you choose qualified staff members to join your business. These individuals must receive proper training in order to keep consistency within your company. They must also have strong customer service skills, and a genuine enthusiasm for your business.
Do what you’re good at
Don’t feel pressure to start selling goods simply because they’re popular or trendy. If other companies are selling cake pops and you specialize in artisan breads, don’t try to change your product line to blend in. It’s better to sell delicious items that you make well, instead of trying to hawk subpar goods simply so you can claim that you sell them.
Never miss a chance to market your products
Many business owners assume that if they create a great product, customers will flock to their shop. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Clients can’t frequent your business if they don’t know that your bakery exists. When your store is up and running, invest in advertising, and use every opportunity that you can to get the word out about your company. Attend networking events for business owners in your town, hand out pamphlets to residents in the area, and offer free samples. These methods will help to let potential customers know that you exist, and it will increase the foot traffic to your shop.
Mary O’Brien Aurora is the owner and founder of The Aurora Treats Company. She and her staff bake up fresh breads, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, pastries, and other treats daily for a large fan base. They ship these items all over the country. Mary O’Brien Aurora frequently teaches workshops at her store; adults and kids with a passion for baking can learn more about the craft.
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