Name: Jennifer Choi
Business/Location: Sugarsuckle/Hoboken, NJ
Specialty: Modern-style custom cakes & desserts made with quality ingredients
What problem does your business solve?: The cake/dessert table has become a focal point at many celebrations. We offer party hosts cakes and desserts that integrate seamlessly into their party decor, which becomes a very special part of the guest experience.
What makes your business unique?: Sugarsuckle offers a completely customized service to ensure that everything— from the first look to the last bite— delights. The team behind Sugarsuckle is made up of bakers AND artists. We work together closely with clients to understand their vision and style, and ultimately create something beautiful for the event.
What’s your story?: Long before I was immersed in pastry arts, I was very artistic and constantly searching for ways to channel my creativity. Almost 10 years ago, a little curiosity about baking quickly became a full-blown obsession, and I found myself spending hours poring over recipe books, up late at night baking experiments, and making many visits to the best bakeries to sample everything. I soon enrolled in culinary school to learn the fundamentals of pastry. With my passion grounded in technique, I kicked off my baking career by finding work at a busy retail bakery and a Michelin-starred restaurant in NYC. Working behind the scenes in the kitchen gave me valuable experience, insight, and refined skills, but I longed for more creative expression and quite honestly, I had an entrepreneurial itch. I was almost two years into my search for a commercial space and finally found a location in May 2016. We opened our doors in June 2018.
One piece of advice you have for other food entrepreneurs: Being in the food industry is a labor of love. There are constant ups and downs, roadblocks, and many hours that go into running a food business.
What do you wish you had known before you started your business?: I later figured this out, but I wish I had known how important it was to define your customer avatar when starting your business. This would have saved me so much time and resources early on. I was marketing in the wrong places and doing event sponsorships where potential clients would not be present.
What’s your greatest challenge in your business and how are you overcoming it?: The biggest challenge is scaling the business by expanding and growing our team. Our sales are growing, but finding new team members who share our values and artistic vision has been the challenge. Our team is currently working as efficiently as possible as we continue our search for the right candidate.
What are you most proud of about your business?: We have a great team culture. We respect each other and work together as a team. I'm lucky to be working among such hard-working and talented women.
Name: Jennifer Choi