Sophomore Alex Warren will finish creating her own baking business, Alex’s Baked Goods, next semester. This decision was not a spur-of-the moment plan, but rather a gradual progression of events that inspired her to start an official baking business this coming year.
“My mom taught me how to cook when I was really little, and then she taught me how to bake, and then I kind of took off with it,” Alex said. “I wouldn’t have been able to start my business without her because she is the one who taught me how to bake.”
The business idea arose after Alex and her mother hosted a tea party at a neighbor’s house. Alex’s cupcakes were a major success, and neighbors asked for more of her home-made baked goods. Alex’s mom talked to the PTA and landed Alex a spot to sell her goods in the Bullis Gardener auction. A bidding war ensued for Alex’s “Dessert of the Month,” a prize that would ensure a monthly delivery of fresh homemade treats for a year. Since then, word of Alex’s penchant for baking spread throughout Los Altos, and demand for Alex’s baked goods increased.
“[The auctioned baking package] went for a couple hundred dollars, so I was really proud of that,” Alex said.
Alex is now ready to formalize this unofficial baking business with a Facebook page, business cards, and a website, which will be up next semester. She also has set up a small-scale photography studio in her house made up of white panels for her website.
“I’m working on my finances, so I can get set prices down to provide consistency,” Alex said. “I enjoy the look of joy on people’s faces when I bring them my creations, and honestly warm baked goods make me really happy because they make almost any situation better.”
Although her specialty cakes will not be available to people outside of Los Altos due to shipping reasons, Alex’s mixes, breads and cookies will be available to those anywhere in California. The profit that she makes off of her baked goods will be used to purchase baking supplies as well as for her to go to baking classes.
“I have a nice profit margin, but it’s something I really love doing,” Alex said. “I really love baking and am glad it has become an outlet for my stress or simply something that helps me make others and myself happy.”
Alex’s specialty is custom cakes, priced anywhere from $20 to $50. Instead of a set menu to order off of, clients can ask Alex to bake any goods that they wish for any event or occasion. She uses go-to base recipes from cookbooks and alters them to fit the order.
“I love doing the custom cakes because they’re really fun,” Alex said. “Baking makes me feel relaxed. I love it because making things makes me feel accomplished.”
Along with starting her new baking business, Alex balances difficult school courses, water polo and chamber orchestra.
“Its taught me a lot of good time management skills, and that I need to get better at not procrastinating,” Alex said. “I have had people call me a lifesaver after completing a last minute order, and little kids have even said they want to learn how to bake like me. Whenever things like this are said I feel needed. I’m honestly just really happy seeing others happy.”