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BiS profile: Ashley Stokes - Flirt with Dessert bakery

title

Co-owner with her mother Dee Rountree of Flirt with Dessert bakery

 

family

Engaged to Kyle Robbins. To be married April 2.

 

pets

Dogs Miles, a husky, and Kane, an American bulldog

 

background

“I’ve been baking my whole life…I’m sure I was in the kitchen as soon as I could walk. I made cookies at first, when I was 4 or 5, and pound cakes.”

years in business

Two years on Jan. 21.

 

schooling

“I went to high school at St. Andrews. I did business school instead of a culinary school. I graduated from Savannah State with a business management degree.

I knew I wanted to own my own business.”

 

first job

“I was a bartender for eight years at Siciliano’s on Whitemarsh Island. I started working there when I was 16 and worked there through high school and college.”

 

baking

“I started baking out of my house for family and friends in 2009. I was working as a bartender at the time to save money to open the store.”

 

moving into a store

“We bought mostly used ovens, a refrigerator and freezer, a display case and sinks. As far as renovating, my fiancé and his dad did most of the work for me. So we saved money there. The place was in good condition. We just had to paint and make a kitchen.”

 

what she does

“I manage the money and the social media. And I bake. We bake all kinds of cookies — snickerdoodles, ginger cookies, chocolate chewies like Gottlieb’s (an old bakery downtown) used to make. We make brownies and pound cakes. That’s our specialty item. We use my great grandmother’s recipe. Most of my recipes come from her. We have a recipe box that has been passed down. We make cupcakes, quiche, cheesecake. We do cakes like red velvet, coconut, German chocolate, carrot. And we do pies. Key lime is the most popular, but we also do pecan, apple and peanut butter. Also we do birthday cakes, wedding cakes, baptism and christening cakes. We do a lot of walk-in business, but most of the business is orders by phone for the specialty cakes. Also, we do bread and desserts for two restaurants.”

 

new venture

“We just started doing fruit bouquets. We partnered with 1-800-Flowers to make fruit on a stick, some of it dipped in chocolate. We make it with apples, pineapples, honey dew melon and grapes on a tray. We fill orders and we’ll deliver it. My sister does the delivery.”

 

employees

One full time

 

why we’re successful

“Because I love what I do. I’ve always loved baking. I wanted to wake up every day and enjoy my job. I love to just bake all day.”

 

favorite quote

Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.

professional achievement

“This business. I feel like I’ve worked for a long time to open this business. Not a lot of people can say they’ve done something like this. It’s very scary to put in so much money, but I thought if I never had tried, I wouldn’t know that I could be successful.

“This business is half business, half baking. You have to offer a good product. And at the end of the day, you need to know how to manage your money. I do all the advertising. I go home and do social media.

“During the day, I’m baking. I spend all night on everything else.”

 

personal achievement

“I got engaged. We were together for six years.”

 

future plans

“To grow my business. We’ve played with the idea of opening another location. I’m not sure I’m ready yet.”

 

tips for other businesses

“Be patient and work hard. The first couple of years are the toughest — a lot of long hours and late nights. There’s a lot of stress, but it pays off. It’s nice waking up and knowing all of this is mine.”

 

things to avoid

“Avoid overspending. In the beginning there are things you don’t know like the cost of credit card processing and advertising. The credit card processing was my major mistake. I’ve been through a couple of companies. When you get the invoice at the end of the month, there are all these service charges, a lot of hidden fees.”

 

networking

“I do a lot of networking with the Savannah wedding group and Wilmington Island networking. We meet once a month. We hosted the group here, put out some food. It’s a great way to meet with people who have businesses on the island.”

 

why the Savannah area works for us

“It’s my home. I grew up on Wilmington Island. Between me and my family we know a lot of people.”

 

contact

Phone: 912-661-2662

Email: Ashley@flirtwithdessert.org.

Web: www.flirtwithdessert.org. Also on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Address: 205 Johnny Mercer Blvd. Suite G, Savannah, GA 31410

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