Name: Nicole Shaw-Provillon
Business/Location: Kurly Kürtősh/Bergen County, New Jersey & surrounding areas
Specialty: Mobile bakery offering artisanal Hungarian chimney cakes, which are described as a cross between a cinnamon pastry and a French beignet
What problem does your business solve?: When is the last time you've had a unique dessert experience serving the finest quality ingredients in the world?
We transform your "dessert station" into "dessertainment", where we infuse an interactive cross-cultural experience while serving you the purest international ingredients. This is the essence of happiness!
What makes your business unique?: Our passion is to serve our customers the perfect chimney cake by mastering the craftsmanship and sourcing the best ingredients in the world, all while offering a one-of-a-kind dessert experience. We have proudly baked more than 6,000 chimney cakes and counting.
What’s your story?: My professional foundation is business. I am an inactive CPA, with audit and financial analysis experience. I have an MBA with a concentration in marketing, where I worked on brands, such as LYSOL & AIRWICK. I was destined for a corporate career; however, life took a happy detour. I moved to Hungary for four years and fell in love with their beloved street food. I immersed myself in the culture by learning the craft at a local market and then learned more from an award-winning chimney cake baker. And neither of them spoke English. But it’s through this process, where I experienced the passion and care that goes into the art of chimney cake baking. I spent countless hours baking chimney cakes to master this secret treasure. Once in the US, I learned the science behind yeast at the Culinary Institute of America. I sourced the purest ingredients from Europe to Southeast Asia, and created a unique dessert experience that has helped us create relationships with Bloomingdale’s, Williams-Sonoma and most honorably, the Hungarian Embassy in DC.
One piece of advice you have for other food entrepreneurs: Take a couple of specific business classes/workshops before starting. This includes classes like consumer marketing, branding and P&L management. My finance and marketing experience have been invaluable in my business decision making.
What do you wish you had known before you started your business?: I wish I had known that bookkeeping (not accounting) should not be taken lightly. Stay on top of it or it will control you at tax time!
What’s your greatest challenge in your business and how are you overcoming it?: My greatest challenge is educating people about chimney cakes and helping them embrace unfamiliarity. As a result, I selectively create win-win relationships with established brands and authoritative figures for exposure and credibility.
What are you most proud of about your business?: I’m most proud of the excitement and happiness that we create amongst our old and newbie chimney cake lovers. :)
What are you thankful for?: It's an honor to share this traditional Hungarian pastry in America and live out the words of the famous Yo-Yo Ma, "When you learn something from people, or from a culture, you accept it as a gift, and it is your lifelong commitment to preserve it and build on it." Thank you Hungary❣️
What do you love most about being a food entrepreneur?: Food in general attracts positivity, but food made with love, passion, and mastery generates exponential energy that's magnetic.