Today we’d like to introduce you to Dawn Belisle.
Dawn, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have always loved to cook and bake. I learned everything from being in the kitchen with my mother. I started baking back in the late 90’s starting with a rum cake. Friends started asking me to bake for their functions and paid me and I thought “this is a good side hustle.” I went on to be criminal trial attorney but never stopped baking. I always knew baking would be my business someday. I later developed more infused cakes and then in 2013 started experimenting with alcohol infused cupcakes. I launched the website online in hopes of receiving orders from people other than friends and family. Then, after practicing for 20 years, I decided to step out on faith in 2014 and make baking my full-time business when I landed a contract with the Georgia Dome selling my products at the Falcons games. That lead to my products being sold in Phillips Arena, Braves and NASCAR(Atlanta and North Carolina). Through the years, the business model has been modified based on trials and tribulations and I now sell online, major festivals and Pop Ups around town. In this transition, I also rebranded my law practice and I now teach and help with the legalities of baking to home bakers pursuing their dreams of starting a home baking business.
Has it been a smooth road?
Not a smooth road and still isn’t. The major struggle is capital and access to capital to expand. The resources are not easily available to small business owners especially minority businesses. The resources, to not only capital but people in the field that can guide or help navigate along the way is also lacking. Marketing is also a big struggle if you are small and want to expand. Getting a good team together that share your vision, passion and hustle is also a constant struggle.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
My business, Delights by Dawn, is an online baking company specializing in alcohol infused cakes, cupcakes and other desserts. I am known for my boozy desserts and also known as the “lawyer turned boozy baker.” I am definitely most known for my Rum cake but also have a great following for the different variety of cupcakes. I am most proud that I have passed the five years mark and I am still doing well. As most businesses fail before year five, I am extremely proud that I have survived that hump.
What sets me apart from other company is that I specialize in alcohol infused desserts. Many bakers/bakeries may do one or a couple of flavors that are infused with alcohol while still baking the traditional desserts without alcohol. I specifically ONLY bake alcohol infused desserts. I have three items not infused I have kept because they were there in the beginning but I do not do products that are not infused with alcohol. What also sets me apart is the research, pairing and development that is used in the flavors I offer.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I sometimes feel that it is and sometimes I feel that it is not. I feel that it is because the city has grown over the years and has and is becoming more of a foodie place. There is something for everyone. For me personally, because my product is a niche, it is a good place with the festivals and all the events going on to have a business like mine. On the other hand, the foodie circle is more tight nit than people know and it is hard to get into that circle if you want to expand unless you know someone.
Regarding starting a business/bakery, I would recommend starting out here because the cost of living here is such that you can afford to start a business. As long as you start small and grow slowly and wisely, I think one can start and sustain a successful business. Our city can still do more to make the playing field even when providing business opportunities to small minority businesses.
- Cupcakes – $50 and up per dozen
- Cakes – $49.99 and up
- Website: www.delightsbydawn.com
- Phone: 678-852-0627
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/delightsbydawn
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/delightsbydawn
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/delightsbydawn
- Yelp: Delights b y Dawn
Delights by Dawn and RSVPATL