Iowa West Coast Initiative Feature: Crumb

  1. Short description of your business:

Crumb is a licensed, home-based bakery established in Sioux City, Iowa. Our bakery offers a wide variety of baked goods, from cookies and bars to cakes and cheesecakes.  

  1. What motivated you to start your business? What drives you each day? 

We always enjoyed sharing our homemade goods with family and friends. This was the motivation for starting our business, and we wanted to expand it to include more people. This is still a part-time operation, but what drives us each day is the reaction from our customers. Being part of a big milestone, brightening someone’s day, or just creating a memory is the drive for why we do what we do. 

  1. What’s unique about your business? 

Our business is unique regarding the products we offer. We try to take a traditional item and put our spin on it. For example, we make a sauce for our cheesecakes based on a margarita recipe we tried during the pandemic. Likewise, our Toasted S’mores cookies were born out of an idea to capture fall nights around the campfire. We look for inspiration in the items we make from our experiences. 

  1. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome as you’ve grown your business? 

Our biggest challenge has been figuring out what items will sell the best at the pop-ups and Farmer’s Market. Predicting demand has been difficult because it changes from week to week or event to event. Just when we think we have it dialed in, the customer’s needs go in the complete opposite direction. However, we have been able to identify a couple of items that are always popular and have found that if we at least carry those, we can easily add new items in on a limited basis to feel out our market. 

  1. What has been your greatest reward? 

The greatest reward has been the feedback from our customers. When they share their stories about how our products have been a part of a celebration or caused a tiff over who got the last bite as part of a family evening, those stories are what we find rewarding. 

  1. How have you benefited from the startup community in Sioux City and the region? What resources did you use?

The biggest benefit from the community has been the support from individuals and other businesses. We wanted to try out the Farmer’s Market on a limited basis. So, we reached out to one of the vendors to learn from their Market experiences. Once we joined the Farmer’s Market for the month of October, other vendors shared their successes and failures with us. We then discovered Iowa’s West Coast Initiative and the group’s networking opportunities. 

  1. Are there any experiences that were particularly influential in that regard?

The experience that stands out is just the level of support offered in these networking opportunities. Other business owners and community leaders are willing to listen to you and share their opinions and offer help as they can.

  1. Why is it important for the community to support startups and small businesses? What more can be done to help them?

It is important that the community supports startups and small businesses because the owners, founders and managers are usually the same people you see around town, at church and supporting other small businesses in the area. 

The Siouxland community is amazing in its support for small business. The best help people in the community can do is visit and spend money with the area’s small businesses. This support will increase the chances those businesses have at succeeding. 

  1. What is one thing you know now that you wish you knew when starting your business?

When starting Crumb, we wish we knew about all the groups and organizations there are in the Siouxland community that are willing to help with providing advice and services to get businesses started off on the right foot. These resources all want to help push the momentum of new business forward. 

  1. What advice would you give to someone looking to start a business?

If you think you have an idea for a business that fits a need in the community, go for it! Even if someone else is already doing the same thing, they do not have your perspective on it. Ask for help and advice from friends, family, and other businesses. The willingness others have to help you succeed is awe-inspiring. 

  1. How can the community continue to help your business?

We touched on this in one of the previous questions. Frequent our business and any other small business in Sioux City. Spread the word about the experience you had. For us, share our baked goods with friends, family, and co-workers. 

  1. What are some future goals for your company?

Our future goal is to outgrow our home-based bakery and look for a commercial location, possibly a retail store front as well. We would love to expand our menu to include breads, muffins, and pies.

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