Dominique Jones is an aspiring master baker and pastry chef. She began baking with her grandmothers at the tender age of eight years old and fell in love. Baking has always been more of a therapeutic experience for her. She was bullied often as a child and teen so baking became an escape and sense of self validation for her. She created Scratch My Batch so that she may eventually provide a place to teach young aspiring professionals technical skills of baking and also provide a safe place for those who may have experience bullying as she did. Read our interview with the lovely Dominique below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
Well, I’ve always wanted to start my own business because I love helping people. Whether it be helping in the time of need or acquiring a new skill, I love it. As a young girl baking became an escape for me, it was my therapy, a way to express myself. I wanted to create a business that not only made wonderful desserts for everyone but could be a place to help young professionals perfect their craft. I created Scratch My Batch Bakery because of my passion and love for baking from scratch and the way I could make people happy while enjoying a tasty treat.
Tell us about your business.
Scratch My Batch Bakery is a delectable desserts concierge that specializes in pastry goods that are baked from scratch. With the level of difficulty it takes to create the smoothest custard, lightest mousse and softest cake this is what makes our desserts standout from the rest. Our signature desserts include specialty flavored cupcakes, beautiful colored buttercream rosette cakes, custom pastries and baked goods. It is our mission to provide the best tasting experience from the freshest ingredients possible!
For 2017 our mission will also be to educate young aspiring professionals on the basics and technical skills of baking to help develop their craft!
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
For first time customers ONLY receive $5.00 worth of Batch Cash that may be used towards your purchase when spending $50.00 or more.
Where is your business based?
We are home based in Chicago, IL and surrounding areas.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I initially relied on word of mouth from family and friends but then one day I got an email to attend a co-working session and receive helpful information about my business. Creative co-working (which was created by Chatoya Antwine) is where my business got its start; I went into my 1st session clueless and in desperate need of HELP! I didn’t know how I was going to get my business up and running but I knew I wanted to start my own business. Chatoya’s tips and resources on managing your social media, purchasing a domain, creating a professional email etc; really helped to jump start my business. I gained more followers, attracted customers, booked events (sooner than I thought), gained connections, and began relationships with some amazing women I now consider sisters in business.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
The best way I’ve created awareness for my business was via social media. Because my business is product/food based it serves better with photos. Most people tend to eat with their eyes and a picture of a mouth watering pastry or cupcakes would intrigue them. Even though people would reach out and support from seeing photos, business was slow. I realized that the people who supported me or wanted to support wanted to get to know the person behind the products. I began attending networking events with other entrepreneurs and like minded individuals, which led to word-of-mouth and more event opportunities. I intend to implement sending out newsletters to my subscribers to keep them updated on events, new products, menu changes, flavors etc, starting January of 2017.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
My biggest challenges so far have been staying motivated and the lack of self confidence at times. I’m a perfectionist so I tend to be a little hard on myself.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I’m still working on being more confident in myself as an aspiring master baker/pastry chef all together, but my customers help tremendously with that. Each time I receive a “omg thank you SOOO much Nikki” or a “Everyone LOVED your sweets, you are awesome”, it makes me realized why I began in the first place.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Honestly, whenever I am feeling as if my back is against the wall, I pray, turn to my family for motivation and I RUN to the kitchen lol!
How did you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I feel as though my passion, attention to detail, personality and my determination to trust my skills and creativity are what distinguish me.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
My family and friends tell me all the time how proud they are of me and to NEVER give up on my dreams.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
If you have a business idea, plan, concept, etc; don’t sit on it. This is YOUR time, its ok if it seems as though no one understands your journey, guess what? They aren’t supposed to, this journey is for you. Believe in yourself and your talent; celebrate the small victories because if you don’t then how will you appreciate the big ones. Take care of yourself and learn from your mistakes, don’t beat yourself up! Always pay attention to detail, be in tune with your creativity and trust your skills! You got this!
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
Well I actually have three favorite business tools that I love and they are Bakenomics, QuickBooks and Canva. Bakenomics allows me to input my recipes, supplies and ingredients and breaks them down into over head cost, cost per serving, etc., which helps me out tremendously with pricing my products. I love QuickBooks because it manages and organizes my accounts, supplies and products and allows me to send invoices to my clients that can be paid online. Last but not least Canva, is SO awesome! I can create flyers with my brand colors for my social media post, products and content!
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Instagram @scratchmybatch @chef__nikki
Website www.scratchmybatch.com (coming soon)
Hashtags #scratchmybatch #chefnikki #sweets #treats #masterbaker #baking101 #educationalbaking #creativity #pastrychef #entreprenuer #cakeislife
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“Girl Code” by Cara Alwill Leyba and “Thrive” by Ariana Huffington – my two favorite reads thus far!
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I am currently learning more about how to brand and market the business, how to build social media presence by creating consistent content. I am looking for help with managing my social media and focusing on who my target audience is in hopes of broadening that.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goals for the next few months are to finishing construction on the website and finally launching (winter 2017). I am working with someone now on the construction of the site. I also plan to host my very first tasting (Scratch My Batch’s Taste of the summer) where I will introduce my customers to our delicious summer flavors. I’ll be reaching out to my event planner soon.