Five Questions with Sarah Thongnopneua of Baked Blooms
When we first saw Sarah Thongnopneua’s creations our jaws dropped. She’s the owner of Baked Blooms and her cupcake bouquets are gorgeous works of art that almost look too good to eat. Almost. They taste as good they look!
1. Here at The Indie Alley we're always in awe of people who make the leap from a corporate career to launch their own company. What was it like for you to make this switch?
I worked in the Silicon Valley for 5+ years as a project manager for a large technology company. Once me and my husband started a family it became increasingly difficult for me to make the long commute and hours work. After our second child we made the decision for me to be a stay at home mother and I am grateful that I had that opportunity. Once our third child became full time at elementary school I decided it was time for me to start working again and rather than go back to the corporate world we wanted something flexible where I could determine my own hours so I could still pick up our kids from school and take them to after school activities.
Starting my own business doing something I love was the perfect next step.
2. What inspired you to become a pastry designer and chef?
I have lots of great bakers in my family. My Mum always used to make lots of yummy treats and birthday cakes for me and my sister growing up. I wanted to have those same memories for my boys so always make them an elaborate homemade cake every year. Everyone would tell me I should start a cake business.
When I was at high school I also worked in a local restaurant in England as a pastry chef and learnt a lot from the other chefs there. I had seen the increasing popularity of cupcake bouquets in England and decided to try the market for them here in Marin.
I really enjoy making desserts. It is an outlet for me. Seeing the joy that my cake artistry can bring is very rewarding.
3. Where do you get the ideas for your amazing designs?
Not sure really! When a customer calls me and tells me about their event or occasion my mind just goes into overdrive of what I want the end design to look like and then it goes from there!
I’m a perfectionist so I’m not happy unless it looks exactly like what I had in mind!
4. What's your secret to balancing, or trying to balance, being a mom to 3 boys and running your own business out of your home?
Lots of late nights and early mornings :) Help from friends and family.
I was talking to a friend once and she said to me that if I had a blog I should call it “baseball, basketball and cupcakes” - because that’s pretty much sums up my life with a home bakery business and 3 boys! (And a sports mad husband. Did I mention I did not grow up around sports and was not a sports fan? ) If I’m not in the kitchen you can find me at the baseball field or basketball court watching one of my kids games!
Seriously though I am so grateful that unless I’m working in a large event I can get most of my work done while my kids are at school and then get to spend time with them.
I’m lucky to have a wonderful husband who is so supportive.
My kids are not allowed in the kitchen when I’m baking for customers but they do like watching The Great British Baking Show with me :)
5. Do you have any words of wisdom to pass on to other women looking to become entrepreneurs? Any helpful local resources that helped you get your start?
Owning your own business is definitely a labor of love. Do something you really enjoy because you will be spending a lot of time doing it!
I’m lucky to have so many loyal customers that repeat orders and spread the word about my boucakes.
So many local businesses have also been so generous, such as yourselves at the Indie Alley, in helping me launch by brand and market to the local community.
I am very appreciative of my followers on social media and of course I couldn’t do it without my friends and family cheering me on from near and far ️
Interview by Jen Ciraldo
MORE ABOUT BAKED BLOOMS:
Baked Blooms is a home based bakery founded in Spring 2016 and specializes in custom cupcake bouquets - edible bouquets of flowers!
Whether it is a wedding, birthday party, baby shower, bridal shower or corporate event to a Thank you, Birthday or Get Well gift their cupcakes are so versatile and are perfect for any occasion.
Each creation is completely bespoke and can be tailored to fit to any color scheme or theme. They can be personalized too!
All their cupcakes are baked from scratch in small batches using real ingredients. They are then creatively decorated by hand using 100% buttercream and uniquely wrapped to be presented as a hand tied bouquet of flowers that you can eat!
Follow Baked Blooms on Facebook and/or Instagram @bakedblooms.
Members: get a 10% on orders picked up or delivered between now and Christmas. Limited $10 discount per order. Just mention the Indie Alley when you place your order.
Baked Blooms doesn’t have a storefront, so orders can be placed at www.bakedblooms.com or by emailing email@example.com or calling (415) 378-5020. They deliver too!