Don’t try to do it all yourself Get The Help You Need

The opening of a second location for the Noe Valley Bakery has been speeding along. Last month I shared a bit about securing funding and the process of getting a loan. But now that the money is in the bank, we’re starting to ask ourselves “What have we gotten ourselves into?” and “How are we physically going to do everything that needs to get done to get this bakery opened?”


The answer is that we aren’t going to be all of it. In fact, our team is going to be doing most of it.


You can’t do it all yourself. Nor should you.

Read more

Nuts and Bolts of Opening Our Second Bakery

Things have been progressing with our expansion of the Noe Valley Bakery to a second location. Last month I shared a bit about the process of getting our loan, and the options I discovered along the path of securing financing.

But now, with the loan in the bank, our attention is turning from grand scale visions and estimates to the nuts-and-bolts of opening a second location and how to manage a project at this scale. While I am the first to recommend different systems and software that can help food businesses run more smoothly — I surprised myself by gravitating toward a more analog way of wrangling all my To Dos, and getting my team to stay on track.

Read more

Lay The Foundation To a Great Small Business Loan Ways to Prepare for a Small Business Loan

Raising money for a loan can feel both daunting and difficult. I should  know — I’m in the middle of raising a round of investment for our second location Noe Valley Bakery West Portal

Once we signed our new lease, the truth of what I had done sunk in: I had a very limited amount of time to find the funding I needed to pull this off. As I have moved through the fundraising process, I’ve felt grateful that Michael, my business partner, and I started laying a foundation for this business loan long before we needed it.

If you are even thinking of expanding, opening a second location, or opening new branch in even the next five years, here are things you need to start thinking about now.

Read more

Your Loan Your Way There is more than one way to get a loan.

Lately around Launch I have been in full-blown fundraising mode.  With a signed lease for the expansion of our bakery to a second location, Noe Valley Bakery West Portal, I’ve had to quickly get up to speed and figure out how we were going to fund the expansion.

Over the past several weeks I have learned so much about commercial loans and small business loans. At the beginning of this process, I was nervous and my stomach felt like it was full of rocks. Now, although this is still scary of course, I have been pleasantly surprised at how diverse funding can look for small businesses.

Don’t let anyone ever tell you there is one way to get a loan.

Read more

When to Expand to a Second Location Look for these signs

Earlier this month I announced in my newsletter that Michael and I are expanding the Noe Valley Bakery to a second location in West Portal (a nearby San Francisco neighborhood)!


I am experiencing what I have seen so many of you as my clients experience: the rollercoaster of thrill and fear that comes with this crazy ride of being a food business owner. We signed the lease last Friday, and since then I have been wanting to both laugh and cry at the same time.


I know I am making the right choice in creating a second bakery. Michael and I have thought long and hard about why we need to expand, and have a meticulous plan for how we’ve approached expansion. But now that we’ve signed the lease, it is so easy to second guess myself and think we’re making a mistake. I’ve committed to going through this expansion out-loud, sharing all of my learnings and discoveries along the way.


Read more

Managing the Fear How to deal with the voice in your head

Often times when I sit down with a client who is growing their  business, expanding or trying new things, they are scared. They’re unsure if they’re making a huge mistake, they can’t sleep at night, or they’re having trouble focusing on their day-to-day tasks. Fear is such a real part of owning a food business.

Read more

I Learned More From Failure Than Success Keys to Success in Business

This is a hard story to tell…

We all open our artisan food businesses to succeed.

Failure is not an option.

We fear that if we fail, no one will trust anything we do ever again.

We fear that no one will ever loan us money or fund our future projects.

We fear that if we fail at our artisan food business, we will lose everything.

So why am I so passionate about failure? Because, I have had a business fail.

Read more

Get the Number of a Great Employment Attorney Prepare Yourself for the Worst Case Scenario

If you’re hiring people for the first time, it can be overwhelming or confusing to know what you need to do to have everything buttoned up. There’s new employee paperwork you need filled out, there’s employee files that need to be made, and you need time tracking and break policies.


But there’s one thing you won’t find on many small business HR check lists: getting the number of a good employment attorney

Read more

Timecards and Payroll Services Document Your Employees Work Carefully

Maintaining good human resources practices is one of the keys to running a successful team. If you’re hiring for the first time, you’ll need to make sure you’ve completed new hire paperwork and started an employee file.


Once those two things are completed, it’s time to get your new employees on the clock! But a very important cornerstone of your HR system is to have strict time keeping practices so you can generate accurate paychecks. You can’t fool around when it comes to documenting when your employee clocked into work and clocked out. It is very important that all the information be accurate, for both you and your employees. Having tight timekeeping practices allows you to be the most fair you can — you are only paying them for work done, and they are getting paid for all the work they complete. These best practices include keeping consistent break schedules, and ensuring they employees clock out when they take those breaks.

Read more

Employee File Checklist How To Set Up Personnel Files For Your Food Business

Hiring new employees for the first time can be overwhelming, especially for small businesses or food business owners. If you’re hiring for the first time and don’t know what forms to collect from your new employee, start with this post, Paperwork For New Hires.

Read more