COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — It’s the second year in a row that businesses across Ohio were impacted by the pandemic, and for some it’s their very first year with their doors open to customers.
For Elizbeth Tiano and Tracy Baldridge, the last year has been one about new dreams.
Tiano just celebrated one year of baking cookies for the masses from her kitchen, and Baldridge sold nearly 50 thousand cupcakes — all during the pandemic.
Tiano remembers what she was doing a year ago, baking specialty cookies just weeks after the launch of Angie’s Rainbow Cookies.
Today Tiano says she feels like her hard work has paid off.
“Four restaurants and two actual markets that sell the cookies — so between the regular orders and farmers markets I’m really sustaining!” she said describing what she has accomplished.
It’s been tough road to make it to this point, putting her cookies out there at markets and on social media, taking care of three little ones at home, and of course the pandemic.
“The biggest challenge for me is having the kids around if the daycare closes, or they’ve been exposed and they’re home for the week,” said Tiano.
Tracy Baldridge is another small business owner opening up for the first time this year.
She has sold more than 46 thousand cupcakes to date.
“This has always been a dream of mine so I thought it might be now or never,” Baldridge said, talking about why she made the career switch.
She says she had to learn a lot, from what will attract customers in to keeping her cupcake cases stocked throughout the day.
“Drawn from all the experiences that I’ve had as a mom, and as a teacher, and I’ve used those experiences to help me be efficient,” Baldridge added.
Both Baldridge and Tiano say they’re looking to grow and soon but what they’ve learned the most this year has been about themselves.
“I’ve grown a lot you know coming out of my shell,” said Tiano, explaining this has made her more outgoing.
Baldridge added, “I’ve learned that I can do anything I can set my mind to — I can learn anything!”
Both women are looking to expand in 2022. Tiano is planning her Valentine’s day cookie menu and hopes to get into a commercial kitchen this spring.
Baldridge is also working on new cupcake recipes and is hoping to hire another baker to help her in the kitchen. She’s taking some time off from the shop in the new year to prepare.