Meet small business grant winner, Laura Conroy from The Boxed Bakery.
The Boxed Bakery is a small home bakery based in a South Northants Village. Laura Conroy set up as a business after discovering a niche when supporting her daughter's bake sale fundraisers and afternoon teas. She registered her kitchen with the local environmental health inspector and started her business in October 2020.
Laura provides her customers with bespoke buttercream cakes and postal bakes when they are looking for something a little bit extra special, either as a treat for someone else or as an indulgent treat for themselves.
How did the idea for your business come about? And why is it important to you?
Laura Conroy: My daughter was fundraising for a school trip to Botswana we tried many activities but cake sales were always a winner. Covid hit and the fundraising stopped but people kept asking for cakes and so I realised I had a potential business that could support me and my children with life’s little extras.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Laura: My biggest Challenge so far has definitely been learning about the business side, its one thing being good a making cakes but budgets, marketing, regulation’s and HMRC, has definitely been a learning curve.
How the BIPC helped you?
Laura: The BIPC has really helped my to become a business owner and understand marketing, how to optimise search engines but most of all how to understand my own USP and who my ideal customer is. The 121 sessions with a business advisor helped and the support in writing my business plan was really useful. I plan to continue to learn and develop through the BIPC sessions.
What are your plans for the grant?
Laura: When I started the Boxed Bakery I was using one 1970’s Kenwood hand mixer my gran gave me and one tin, which was great for a while but when orders came in and things got busy I needed more equipment to speed things up. 3 layer cakes with only one tin took hours. The grant money will support me in being able to purchase more equipment in order to speed up my processes and the potential to widen the business to create another stream that compliments my existing offer
Most likely to be found in/at (what do you like to do in your spare time)?
Laura: First and foremost I’m a mum to my two girls so spending time with them is really important to me they are growing so fast, when I need some me time I can often be found in Salcey Forest. I love the calm and tranquillity up there off the beaten track.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
Laura: “You can’t be all things to all people.“ The BIPC helped me to explore and understand my personal and business values and how these connect to my ideal customers and the day to day running of The Boxed Bakery. Really understanding this made everything else fall into place and gave direction to my business.
Has there been a book that impacted you?
Laura: Twelve Pillars by Chris Widenar and Jim Rhone. It’s a story about an unsuspecting guy sharing a story with a man whose car broke down. They strike up a friendship and unbeknown to him the gardener teaches Michael the 12 pillars of success in life and business some lines in there really resonate with me and the section on building relationships with people is akin to growing a garden rang true to my business as well one of my business values is about offering a personal service, genuine connections and relationships are key to success.
Describe your life as an entrepreneur in one word.
After a wave of enquiries and over 150 applications, the Business & IP Centre Northamptonshire team shortlisted 34 aspiring entrepreneurs, who were invited to give a presentation on their new start-up to a panel of judges in a Dragon’s Den style elevator pitch as part of the Reset. Restart Small Business Grants programme. The Boxed Bakery was one of our 19 winners.
Visit The Boxed Bakery: https://theboxedbakery.wixsite.com/theboxedbakery