BAKERS AND PASTRY CHEFS
|Current role||Baker (Business Owner)|
|Time in current role||Less than 1 year|
|Previous role||Director of Admissions|
|Time in previous role||4 years|
Celeste Armstrong is the Owner and Baker at Blake + Fables, a Melbourne-based online bakery specialising in pies, cakes, and other sweet treats. She launched the business in October of 2016, after spending 4 years as a Director of Admissions.
What do you do daily?
On any given day, I could be in the kitchen baking, making deliveries, fine-tuning operations, and planning for the weeks ahead. Then there are activities on the office side, so I might need to update the website, work on my social media strategy, reconcile finances, or design packaging. As a new business owner, the list does go on!
What are some of the skills you need for your role?
First and foremost, I need to bake. 🙂
But some of the other key skills I use daily include customer service, problem-solving, decision-making, strategic thinking, basic book-keeping and maintaining digital assets.
What advice would you give to someone interested in your role?
Starting your own business is hard work, so you have to be passionate and dedicated. And as a Business Owner, you also need to have time and some funds behind you to make the dream a reality.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to enter this area of work?
In both aspects of my work (Baker and Business Owner) you need to be prepared to work hard and do more than what is expected. Be curious, and take initiative to show (potential employers and customers) that you care – it can get rough though, so make sure you find some fun along the way too.
How likely are you to recommend this job to a friend? Scale of ‘1 = Not at all’ to ‘5 = Absolutely!’ .
Starting a business isn’t for everyone, but for those seriously considering it, I would 100% recommend that they give it everything they’ve got because it’s better than not giving it a try at all.
What did you study i.e. your level of study, and major if applicable?
I have a Bachelor of Business Management, and have also undertaken a Leadership Development Program. Although my studies were important for giving me the framework and basic understanding, it’s not until I combined them with real-life experience that everything started to make sense for me.
I now feel like I have a good toolkit of business skills and knowledge and that’s what has led me to start my own business. The baking aspect is where my passion intersects with my business skills and knowledge.
What did you do that perhaps were the most successful initiatives to land your current role?
Firstly, I worked in sales, and I have a strong believe that everyone should get some front-line sales experience under their belt. No matter what role you are working towards, everyone has direct customers (they may be internal to the organisation or external), and the communication, understanding and empathy that comes with sales can be directly transferable to any role.
I also asked a lot of questions and learned lessons. Take an interest in other peoples’ roles and learn their way of doing things – even the smallest change in one area can have a large flow-on effect to another, so understanding how departments in a business work together is important, no matter what industry or role.
Do you need professional registration for your current role?
To work with food, you need to complete a relevant Food Safety Handling course. (In this location) You also need to register your business with your local council before you start trading.
Do you know any industry groups relevant to your role that you would recommend?
I don’t have any specific industry groups to recommend; however, as I have spoken about before, (as a Business Owner) I believe the network you already have is going to be invaluable. There will be such a cross section of ideas, and skills, and knowledge, for you to tap into, that you can at least start the journey. You’ll be surprised at how quickly any gaps seem to close through your direct network, especially as they start offering suggestions of people in their network that may be able to help as well.
Blake + Fables offers different flavours every day, a free delivery to your door across various suburbs in Melbourne, Victoria. The business supports local growers wherever possible, and creates menus based on the availability of key ingredients so you’ll be eating fresh. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or feel like something delicious at the end of a meal, visit the website to find out what’s near you.
Thank you Celeste for supplying the wonderful images accompanying this post!