If there is one industry in the United States that is not losing momentum anytime soon, it is the wedding industry. According to The Wedding Report, this $57 billion industry continues to grow from year to year while catering to about 2.5 million weddings a year. WOW!
Now with this many weddings its bound to come with 2.5 million dresses, 2.5 million walks down the aisle, and of course 2.5 million wedding cakes. There are many delicious bakeries who cater to brides and grooms including the local Oh So Sweet by Tiphanie located on Main Street in Davenport, Iowa.
Tiphanie Cannon, owner, started her baking journey five years ago from her home . For three years, she baked and sold goodies out of her home. Before opening one of the most darling bakeries in town, Tiphanie graduated from the University of Iowa and started her career as a third grade teacher. During her time in education, she realized she needed a change of pace. Once married, she had kids and decided to stay home with them. While she was home she taught herself how to bake and cook. This quickly turned from an interest to a passion. Three years later, she gathered her team of "sugar mamas" and turned her passion into Oh So Sweet by Tiphanie bakery. .
I had the amazing opportunity to meet with the boss lady herself, Tiphanie Cannon, and get the inside scoop on all things Oh So Sweet.
When you were working from your home, the first way you started catering to brides was through your magnificent cupcakes. How has that process changed and expanded over the years now that you have your bakery?
Once I opened Oh So Sweet, I had a lot more room to make actual wedding cakes along with my cupcakes. I have an amazing wedding cake designer who helps me decorate the cakes after our bride consultations. I try to only take on three brides per weekend. Especially during the busy times of the year which include summer and fall. We have executed other Pinterest ideas than just wedding cakes. In the past, we have done a dessert bar, a whoopie pie bar, a cheese cake bar, and mini pies for weddings.
Along with desserts, Oh So Sweet also offers breakfast and lunch. Where do you and your team find the inspiration to change your menu seasonally?
If any of us are traveling, we usually find a lot of inspiration from that. We also watch the food channel or read through our mother's old cook books. We can always find something that sounds interesting or that we may want to try. We try to keep our menu fresh and add new items regularly. For our desserts, we have a cheesecake of the week, three macarons of the week, a cupcake of the week, a cake of the week, and a cookie of the week. We will also use Pinterest and Instagram as inspiration to try to find new recipes that we can tweak to make our own.
You said you don't try to compete with competitors as much as you try to just focus more on improving your own business. What strategies do you use to enhance your business?
We just try to do our own thing and come up with our own new ideas that we know customers will enjoy. We have a wide variety of options and try to keep adding to it. We also try to keep up on trends and current events happening in the news. Some examples include:
- Pokemon macarons and cookies because of the game that recently launched.
- Lemonade cupcakes with Beyonce's face on top for her new album, Lemonade.
- Funfetti rainbow cupcakes for the Orlando shooting.
How do you get your name out there and keep customers coming back?
We focus on giving authentic, great customer service and keep the menu items interesting. That's huge! You can't get a lemon raspberry cake just anywhere! To get our name out there, we do a lot through social media especially Instagram and Facebook. We post our cupcakes of the week and have social media giveaways each week for one lucky follower to win cupcakes.
What is the most important part of being a business owner?
Managing people and handling customer issues has been an interesting journey and very eye opening. Having a good team to work with really makes or breaks a business. We all hang out together outside of work and do fun activities together like birthday or bachelorette parties. When you build relationships outside of work, it helps the business run more smoothly and efficiently.
As a business owner, you must have had some interesting encounters. What has been one of the weirdest experiences that has happened while owning your business?
Seeing the dynamics between a bride and her parents during the wedding planning process is interesting. One time I had a father of a bride client come into my bakery and show me a PowerPoint presentation about why they did not like their cake. I was happy to take the feedback with a smile on my face.
You said one of your proudest accomplishments of your business has been the success of your bakery as well as it still running like well oiled machine. What plans do you have for the future of Oh So Sweet?
Expansion! I have a lot of plans for expanding the business because we are limited on space. There is a ceiling for how much we can do. I have considered either moving the Main street location to a larger building or even having a Bettendorf or Moline location. Another idea we have tossed around is possibly getting a food truck! Definitely keep your eyes peeled for what happens next.
Being a part of the bridal industry and catering to a couples' special day is no easy task. Whether it is wedding cakes or sandwiches, Oh So Sweet can do it all. After only two years in their current location, Tiphanie and her team have zero plans for slowing down any time soon. We cannot wait to see what they do in the future and are expecting big things!
Thank you for following my fabulous internship adventure!