Small Businesses Closing

As you may have seen this past week, our plaza neighbours The ‘Shed Market have closed their doors permanently. With short notice to their loyal customers, they shut their doors one last time on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Just two years and a month I believe since they first welcomed people to their delicious smoke-filled and local kitchen. We will miss our foodie neighbours – and you, our customers, will surely miss the convenience of one stop shopping – The ‘Shed for dinner, and the Cupcakery for dessert. 

Late in 2016, another south end small business closed, Lucie’s Bakery. Lucie’s had been in operation (if I remember correctly) for more than 8+ years in the plaza just south of us, and north of Lowes Road. From what we heard this space is still available for rent as a stand alone building. We never saw Lucie’s as the competition and often I would pick up croissants or bagels for myself. They had many loyal customers too, who sought their gluten free desserts and homestyle breads.

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting the new franchisee owners of Orange Theory Fitness and Freshii at Clair & Gordon. Somewhat different to the start of our small business, they’re process for starting up did have some similarities. In conversation, we talked about heavy start up costs, and long lease terms as barriers to enter the market. Even with the support of their franchise brand, these hurdles can be insurmountable for many.

With these two small businesses closing, it forces me to reflect. Sweet Temptations Cupcakery signed our lease agreement in October 2013, with hopes of being open for Christmas the same year. It wasn’t until January 10, 2014 when we first opened our doors. Amidst, the chaos of opening it was just a few short weeks later we decided that 7 days a week would be our operating schedule. 

As a small business owner, I see our business facing pressures and demands to keep up with trends, meet revenue targets (translation read: make rent), staffing challenges, and maintain competitive advantage over like businesses. Myself and our team works tirelessly to try to be professional, deliver warm service, an exceptional product all with the reliability of a national brand. We aren’t always successful, and we try to remain humble and honest with our mistakes. We do not have the support of a national brand, nor the internal marketing powerhouses, or laser-precision standards of enormous chains. We are one store, run by a small group of dedicated and loyal cupcake fans. We’ve employed young men and women, hired co-op students from local high schools and the UoG, and have been able to welcome new staff for their first ever job – a responsibility to teach a work ethic and accountability I don’t take lightly. It isn’t too long ago for me to remember my first ever job, and know that what they learn here, can last with them throughout their lifetime.

It is hard for me to witness the closing of these neighbouring small businesses like The ‘Shed and Lucie’s Bakery. It raises fear in my heart about the future of my business, and the future of Sweet Temptations Cupcakery. I feel grateful and give thanks to the opportunities we’ve found, and all of you, our customers who make it possible along the way. I feel proud of the accomplishments and growth we’ve seen since our first day at the Aberfoyle Farmers’ Market in May 2011, and I feel pride when I see our food truck, Sprinkle, parked outside. 

Being a small business owner is not without its challenges, ups and downs, super highs, and deep lows. I appreciate you treating yourself to cupcakes and being along for the journey – without you, not only myself, but more importantly our staff wouldn’t be able to call our Cupcakery their workplace. Ultimately, we wouldn’t be able celebrate every day with you.

Support us  by leaving a Google review – these reviews are so important when letting new customers know what we’re all about, and for helping us reach new people. Please considering giving us a review, we’d truly appreciate it. Also connect on social media – Twitter & Instragram @Sweet_T_Cakes, or giving our Facebook page a like. Thanks!

Thank you for all that you do, see you soon friends!

PS – Our new plaza neighbours we’ve heard will be a lawyers office, and we look forward to meeting them. I wonder if they’ll make tasty sandwiches for lunch for us too!

PPS – We’re hiring, for the summer (peak cupcake season is May – October), we’re always looking for young people eager to learn who are returning to school in the fall. Know someone who may interested? Drop off a resume with cover letter in person at the Cupcakery at your convenience. 

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8 Responses to “Small Businesses Closing”

  1. Natalie Romero March 25, 2017 at 10:29 am #

    I must admit, when I read the caption, my heart skipped. I was terrified that I was going to read that you were closing. I’m so thrilled to hear that’s not the case. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to keep your small business running. I want to take the time out today to tell you that I absolutely adore your business and your product. As a blogger I know it can be difficult even just getting your name out. Hands down the best cupcakes Ives ever tasted but more than that, the commitment I see in the community is amazing. Your presence on social media and the events you are always participating in is so inspiring. I can’t wait to see where you go next with your business and look forward to continuing to support your product and brand.
    Natalie

    • Jakki March 25, 2017 at 10:31 am #

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, and for your kind words. I don’t want anyone to think we’re closing, but as a small business it is so important to be aware of what is going on around us – and these two businesses closing nearby has had a huge impact on us. Thank you again so much – we look forward to baking for you and staying connected in our community đŸ™‚ <3

  2. Shari Morash March 25, 2017 at 11:35 am #

    I must say, my heart skipped a beat too! There’s rarely a day that I don’t tell someone about about Sweet Temptations! Though for many, you are now a well-known household name. But it’s fun to remember those first days picking up dozens of freshly baked cupcakes in the driveway of your home in Aberfoyle! I don’t know that I have met a saavier young businesswoman than you. I’m sure that you will be doing something extraordinary for a long time, Jakki.
    Shari Morash

    • Jakki March 25, 2017 at 11:37 am #

      Thank you Shari for always being so supportive, understanding and for your business. We really appreciate you and your family and it’s been so lovely to be a part of all your special and memorable moments. Thanks for taking the time to read the post and for your lovely comment đŸ™‚

  3. Heather Widmeyer March 25, 2017 at 8:36 pm #

    It Com’s down to Location, Location, Location! You need to be in a place that is supported by other businesses. People no longer want to do specially s[ore shopping. It’s all about one stop!
    Lucy’s products deteriorated with every new owner.
    Congrats to you for making a go of it where you are but your food truck has contributed to your success.
    Having been a business owner in Guelph (sold out to partner) I know that people support you but you need a great idea and a great location.
    We could use a Shed Market again and a few less crappy PizzA places.
    Wishing you a Rosey Future!

  4. Heather March 25, 2017 at 8:40 pm #

    Hi Jakki,
    I am relieved that I read the article and now know that you are not closed. But along with the other people who commented, the caption in misleading. You may want to change the picture, since most people don’t read past the first couple of lines. I am glad to see you will still be in business!

  5. Jane March 26, 2017 at 7:34 pm #

    I have not been to your shop yet. I was so excited to have a look at your website and see that you have GF and Vegan cupcakes! Yeah! Can hardly wait to come and visit.

    • Amanda March 27, 2017 at 9:34 pm #

      It is worth the trip to the South end of Guelph to taste Sweet Temptation cupcakes. They have the best cupcakes in town! They are absolutely delicious and always taste so fresh. I love everything about this shop and store owner. … it is so wonderful to have people in our community who work hard and give back in so many ways…teaching new employees, hiring young students, partnering with other business or supporting charities…it seems the sweetness goes beyond the cupcakes! Thank you for serving our community in so many ways!

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