Question: Why did you start your own business?
Response: I was always passionate about cooking & baking since childhood. In 2013 I left Corporate America after 25 years in HR so I knew I was ready to finally do what I always wanted to do! When I started doing business, wholesale only in Hoboken (mid-2013), I was not prepared for this new journey. Sometimes I forget that I started something from nothing but I could not be happier with my decision to brand myself as 100% vegan and gluten free dedicated kitchen in addition to soy & palm oil free. I branched out to open my own dedicated kitchen & retail bakery in January 2017. We’ve been in Cliffside Park for the past 4 years.
Question: What challenges have you faced as a female business owner?
Response: I have been faced with this question my whole life as a young woman working her way up the corporate ladder. It’s no different whether you’re owning your own business or working within a corporation. I think the biggest challenge is being treated equally. You have to speak up for yourself, stand with confidence in your decisions & align yourself with others who are like-minded. Women represent huge economic power & offer important consumer insight. I remember “soft skills” being frowned upon but those skills and emotional intelligence are key competitive advantages for women.
Question: Do you think there are increasingly more opportunities for and acceptance of female business owners?
Response: Yes I do think there are more opportunities. Women are standing together in support and empowerment therefore causing a shift which is creating growth & acceptance.
Question: What can the Chamber do to make things more equitable for women business owners?
Response: The Chamber can continue to equally highlight women-owned businesses, listen to their feedback and amplify their collective voice for change.
Dawn found a way to safely serve her customers during the COVID pandemic: a walkup window! As she explains on her website, "We value the safety of our staff and customers, therefore retail customer walk-ins are not allowed at this time. We are only offering takeout orders for pickup at our walkup window with two ways of ordering, SAME DAY or NEXT DAY."