What is your business?
Sister Pie is a cottage food bakery and business. We serve cookies, pies and breads with a seasonal focus, all made with the best ingredients right out of my home kitchen.
How did you get started?
I moved back to Michigan last year from Brooklyn, where I most recently worked as a pastry cook at Momofuku Milk Bar and Four & Twenty Blackbirds. I was sure I’d never move back to Michigan, much less Detroit!
I got started as a cook by filming my own cooking show in my apartment. By making a new recipe every week and filming it – I taught myself how to cook! I think there is a movement, especially among younger generations, of DIY careers and the idea that if it doesn’t exist, making it up for yourself. That was really the seed for my business idea.
What brought you to Detroit?
I did an internship at Avalon bakery one summer. I learned so much…at Avalon I saw this community and how a business can do good and also be a good place for people to work and go to. It inspired me to start my own business with the same ideals.
I also worked on a web show called ‘The Perennial Plate’ which was visiting Detroit for a sustainable food focus. We spent some time at Brother Nature Farms, and it was that day, that summer, with my hands literally in the earth of Detroit, that I realized this is where I wanted to be.
“I learned there are more creative ways to test out your business and get started… to develop a following first and the rest will develop more organically.”
Tell us about your experience in Build Institute?
The class was really a support group for me. The isolation and solitude of being a small business owner, especially at the very beginning, can be difficult to experience. Being able to socialize with a group of people going through something similar was so helpful. You felt like you wanted to do your homework for the people in your class, to help inspire and motivate each other.
What was most helpful aspect of Build?
I found it helpful hearing how my idea and the way I talked about my business changed throughout the course of the class. The most important thing you can do to promote your business is to learn how to explain it as concisely and confidently as possible. The better equipped you are to do that, the more likely someone will be interested in it. I also found the business fundamentals and financial ins and outs particularly useful. I started out with a ‘pie in the sky’ (excuse the pun!) idea of my business as being a brick and mortar from the beginning. I learned there are more creative ways to test out your business and get started… to develop a following first and the rest will develop more organically.