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Meet Jesseca Sutherland of Jesseca’s Sweet Street in Queens

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jesseca Sutherland.

Jesseca, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Growing up, I often expressed myself through the arts as early as age four. Whether it was painting, crafting, dancing, singing, or acting, I always found a way to turn an idea into a reality. When you’re surrounded by a family of cooks, you’re bound to learn something about the kitchen. At age nine, I would bake cakes every other weekend with my Grandmother for our church’s Sunday School classes. I had so much fun seeing ingredients come together to create a masterpiece. Outside of the kitchen, I saw the lack of custom cakes and desserts in my community. I remember always asking my mom why all of the cute bakeries were in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and Queens only had the traditional cultural ones. I actually didn’t act on this thought until I was 16 years old. Having a creative mindset as a young child, the passion for baking and the desire to fulfill this need in my community birthed Jesseca’s, Sweet Street.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Believe it or not, business is never the straight path that people depict it to be. It’s more of a rollercoaster if you ask me. I would travel 2-6 hours by bus weekly after school to get my cake supplies and ingredients, just to get home in time to complete homework and start baking. There were (and still are) nights where I ran on only 1 to 2 hours of sleep, baking until 5 am in the morning and getting ready to leave for an event at 7 am. Being the social butterfly that I am, I was also heavily involved in extracurricular activities in high school and deep in ministry at my church. My parents would often worry about my health and sleep, and suggested that I dropped some things out of my schedule.

Knowing me, I wanted to do everything and quitting wasn’t an option, but I was overwhelmed. I never complained about the load, but I knew I wouldn’t progress if I stayed this way. Thankfully, I overcame this with the help of my amazing business mentors Jaya Bolden and Lucinda Cross (who I believe were Heaven sent), who helped me to create a schedule and set realistic short and long-term goals for myself. In doing this, I was able to set my priorities straight and create clear plans. I am so grateful for my experiences because nothing worth having comes easy and it’s always amazing to look back at where you were. I had to make sacrifices (and still do) in order to achieve my goals.

Jesseca’s Sweet Street – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Jesseca’s Sweet Street is a Christian based-bakery specializing in signature cakes, custom desserts, and treat tables. We are mostly known for our signature “Layers of love” cheesecake jars and our handmade edible figurines. My business is so unique because I don’t only focus on getting sales, I’m spreading the sweet love of Jesus Christ through every dessert. I do this by attaching a prayer note to all of my orders, specifically asking God to protect and bless my customers. I strongly believe that God is the reason why I’ve made it thus far and he should get the glory. As a 20-year-old with all of the hard work I’ve put in over the past four years, I can definitely attest to my company’s growth. I went from having 2-5 orders a month to 5-10 weekly orders and have met so many amazing people along the way. My long-term goal is to open up a store-front within the near future and continue the success of my business.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moment I would say is every time I see the satisfactory look on my customer’s faces. One specific time, I remember I was having difficulty with executing a cake design and it just wasn’t a good day in the kitchen. I was positive that my customer might have had an issue with my problem-solving technique, but she loved it even more than what she originally asked for! I realized how effectively creative I am in the most pressuring moments, and it truly humbled me. In spite of all the mishaps, being able to make my customers happy is something that I cherish. In addition to this, when young entrepreneurs (or even those older than me) tell me that I inspire them, it’s the best feeling. To know that people look up to me pushes me to do my best everyday. I’m happy that my success thus far is helping other young bosses just like me to reach their goals and follow their dreams.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
@VersatileLens
@NeilImagery
@MadeIn5c

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