One of the strangest things we encounter every day in the store is the fact that we constantly have new customers. Now, I know, the first thing you're thinking after that is probably something like "Um, don't you want new customers?"
Yes, yes we do. But, we started small. We're still a small business. And the surprising aspect is that we keep thinking we'll hit a plateau of new customers. That we must have reached every geek or pop culture nerd in our area. And then someone stops into the store and they've never heard of us before. And when that happens for me, I'm kind of blown away.
We're coming up on our third year as a retail store. Prior to that, we worked out of a commercial kitchen for a year, and prior to that, we made chocolates and cakes out of our home kitchen for two years. So, when someone is just joining us on our journey, there are almost six years of history at this point. And that's not even the tip of the iceberg.
Which brings me to the history. I figured, for anyone that is interested, I'd write up a brief bit about how we got to this point. There's always more to a story, and I will probably elucidate over specific moments in the future, but the general timeline of Sweets So Geek is as follows:
I worked as a dishwasher for an amazing restaurant in Muncie, IN shortly after Heather and I were married in 2000. I never wanted to be a dishwasher and I would come in way before my shift started to learn from all the talented people working. Eventually, I gained the skills of a pastry chef and realized that desserts were where it is at.
And then the restaurant closed.
It wasn't due to making or losing money, but just that the owner didn't want to find a new executive chef when ours took a new position. But it left me with choices to make. Eventually, I landed a management job just to make money and the thoughts of a career in the restaurant world vanished as our first child was born.
Several years later I completed a personal dream and goal and received my degree in Elementary Education. But, after going to school and essentially living on a single income, I needed to make money for our family and the teaching market wasn't super solid at the time. I tell people that I was "too poor to teach," and it was true. Instead, I took a job in business sales and though I did earn a tidy living, I HATED my job. My wife implored me to find something to make myself happy and I stumbled across a Han Solo in Carbonite ice tray and in that instant, our business was born.
I made some chocolates for friends and family and gave one to an amazing small business owner where I purchased the tray and he asked if I wanted to sell them. I was baffled that anyone would want them, but, after discussing it with my wife, we packaged a few and tried it out. And low and behold, people liked them.
We sold at a couple stores, but mainly we started selling at comic conventions and festivals and markets. It soon became something that we had to call in the family to help with and we moved into a commercial kitchen.
When that stopped being ideal, we made the hard choice of whether we would continue with the business or scale it back and just do it occasionally. You can guess what we chose.
We found a space that seemed to work for us mere blocks from our home and considered it kismet. We expanded upon the chocolates with desserts and custom cakes and then added ice cream events and now, I can honestly say that I'm happier than ever, though I work more than ever, and couldn't imagine life without Sweets So Geek.
So, that's a quick foundation of our story. If you'd like to know more, stop in and talk with us. Let us know you're new, or an old fan, or when you first heard about us. It will continue to surprise us and make all the hard work worth it!