What exactly is your business?
Fear’s Confections Gourmet Brownies and Sweets. We hand-make 23 flavors of brownies and a wide variety of chocolates and candies, as well as carry local coffees and teas and local art.
How did you come up with your business idea?
I was laid off from my engineering job in 2009 and due to the economy, was out of work for a year and a half. I am a food network junkie and was inspired by a business featured on one of the competition shows and started experimenting with brownie recipes the next day.
How did you find out about Aviatra?
My Business Mentor and owner of Pope’s Kitchen, Clark Pope.
What is your inspiration?
I’m inspired by many famous chefs and small biz friends of mine, but I love daring to be different. Certain products and flavors and concepts are so oversaturated so we try to stay relevant and fresh.
What has been your biggest accomplishment with your business so far?
Alton Brown from the Food Network came in in 2014 and named us one of the top 8 snack places he went in the country that year. Other than that, on a day to day basis, it’s bringing joy and fun to people through my quirky shop and delicious nerdy treats.
What was the most valuable thing you gained from your experience with Aviatra?
Not having come from a business background, the contacts and information I gained have been invaluable.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting your business?
Seeing as how I started as a home business (while eventually going back to work), my initial investment was small and product was easy to keep up with. Once moving into a storefront, I didn’t have my legal ducks in a row and 3 months after our grand opening, my former business partner and fellow local business owner went to the shop one night and stole all of the equipment and money. 4 years later, I am still struggling to catch back up after that financial hit, but I learned a lot of hard lessons!
Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
I hope to be in a position to upgrade my equipment and have more staff so that I can focus more on the “business end” of things and less on day to day product manufacturing.
Any advice for future Aviatras?
Pay attention to the legal session. Pay attention to the legal session. Pay attention to the legal session. (To be fair I was in Aviatra after my legal incident… if I knew then what I know now…)