Alameda County SBDCOakland, CA

"Working with the SBDC gave us the needed tools to realistically project sales and build a sensible pricing structure. The SBDC was realistic and encouraging at the same time, lending us much-valued industry expertise that’s enabled us to grow from an idea and a dream into a solid business that has a growth plan for the future."

Carolyn Berke

BACKGROUND
The Niles Pie Company is based in Fremont, California, and makes pie and pastry for our community using the best possible ingredients, local and seasonal, and, wherever possible, organic. Our baked goods reflect the delight we find in the bounty of the San Francisco Bay Area, and in the joy we experience in crafting wholesome and delicious baked goods for our friends and neighbors.

We take orders on line for pickup twice a week at a few locations, as well as several restaurant and wholesale accounts. Our selections change constantly, and our rotating menu keeps things interesting for our loyal customer base.

CHALLENGES
We’ve been working in rented kitchen space, which makes it difficult to grow and develop a consistent wholesale business – not to mention the difficulty of developing and maintaining a consistent supplier and vendor network, which in turn makes it difficult to have a stable pricing structure.

ACTIONS
We worked on developing a pricing template to build several key products that could rotate through the menu and bring consistency to our pricing, while bringing the profit margins in line to enable us to start to plan for a permanent kitchen and build a wholesale product line.

RESULTS
After two years as an online business, working out of hourly rented kitchen spaces, we have raised over $29,000 through a Kickstarter campaign, with another $50,000 through an SBA loan. We are expanding to a permanent location, putting in a kitchen and hiring two new employees. We are projected to double our revenue over the next year by adding farmers’ and seasonal markets, increasing wholesale business as well as retail.

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It all starts here. Complete the application and submit your request. A member of the SBDC will follow up with you and help you achieve your small business goals -- at no cost to you.
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Funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the California Governors Office for Business and Economic Development, and other private and public partners;  and nationally accredited by the association of SBDCs.