Angelique Robinson is the genius behind the amazing creations from Treats by Angelique and a graduate of our fall 2013 Blocks Retail Boot Camp.
What’s your business?
Treats by Angelique is a specialty dessert shoppe in the start-up phase of becoming one of the best destination sweet shoppes in Detroit. Our fresh-baked desserts are crafted in small batches with local, fresh ingredients and have names like the Midtown Chocolate Chipper and Livernois Lemon Bar to represent the neighborhoods our pop-up bakery frequents. Our menu includes other favorites such as Triple Chocolate Love Brownies, Very Vanilla Cupcakes with Fluffy Buttercream and Simply Dreamy Flourless Chocolate Cake. Our menu is always expanding and changing, which supports our concept of being a destination bakery – regular customers can stop by often and be surprised each time. We are new to the entrepreneurial world and continuously look for opportunities to build a strong foundation, establishing relationships with local business incubators such as TechTown Detroit, D:hive BUILD, FoodLab Detroit and Detroit Kitchen Connect. Currently, orders are taken via phone, email or social media and we deliver all over Metro Detroit. We are working toward a brick-and-mortar retail outlet in 2014 but, in the meantime, follow Treats by Angelique on Facebook and Twitter to see where we will pop up next.
Why are you proud of it?
I am proud that I have been able to turn my passion for baking into a business that has been totally bootstrapped by me AND supported by my “Treaters” (customers and supporters). Treats by Angelique has allowed me to meet people I never would have and has pushed me to be more outgoing although I am normally a shy person.
What’s your best advice for a fellow entrepreneur?
The best advice I can give is to love what you do. Being an entrepreneur is fun, exciting, scary, rewarding and often lonely. People often snort when they find out I wake up at 4 a.m. to bake and then do a full day at my “regular job.” But I am doing what I love on so many levels. I baked for years without even considering it a business because I love it. That passion for baking is what drives me when all my family is hanging out together and I’m in the kitchen or when my friends are vacationing and I have back-to-back pop-ups to prepare for. Make sure you’re ready to give up your life for your business.
What local entrepreneur do you look up to and why?
Tawnya Clark (The Batata Shop), Angela Dagle (Beautiful Soup), Amanda Brewington (Always Brewing Detroit) and Pat Harris (The Bottom Line Coffee House) – these women have supported me on so many levels. They all started their business with a pop-up model and are food businesses. They taught me how to do it right – from set-up to marketing to just being in the trenches with me during the long (often very hot) hours we spend crafting, selling and promoting our businesses. These women juggle the same things I do and make it all look so easy. The food industry is challenging, and we have built a community of good food people who are super supportive. Pat Harris gave me my first wholesale account. She took a chance on a little baker, fresh to the food scene, and promoted Treats by Angelique like no other. She has taught me resilience with a fluctuating market and how to ride it out and not give up.
What do you do when you need a mental break?
Baking is very meditative for me. There is something about the whir of a mixer, the heat of the ovens and the coming together of such humble ingredients that has me in awe every time I bake. To know I can mix flour, sugar, butter and eggs together to create something that puts a smile on someone’s face gives me the greatest high. My family also soothes me when it all becomes too much. Their support means the world to me, and they tell me its okay to relax sometimes. A good book never hurt either.