Small Business Spotlight: Crumb.

Crumb. is a small-batched scratch bakery established in Sioux City, Iowa. Their bakery offers a wide variety of baked goods, from cookies and bars to cakes and cheesecakes. They even provide catering for small groups and events. They find joy in sharing homemade goods with their family and friends. This was the motivation for starting the business, to expand it to include more people. This is still a part-time operation, but they are driven each day by the reaction of their customers. It is about being part of a significant milestone, brightening someone’s day, or just creating a memory. 

Crumb. is unique regarding the products they offer, taking a traditional item and putting their spin on it. For example, they make a sauce for their cheesecakes based on a margarita recipe they tried during the pandemic. Likewise, their Toasted S’mores cookies were born out of an idea to capture fall nights around the campfire. They look for inspiration in the items they make from their experiences. Their biggest challenge has been figuring out what items will sell the best at events; predicting demand has been difficult because it changes from week to week or event to event. Their greatest reward has been the feedback they receive from their customers. When they share their stories about how their 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 are the stories that make it all worth it. 

The community has been a great support, from individuals to other businesses. Over the past few years, they have been fortunate enough to participate in the entrepreneurial ecosystem that is present in Sioux City. When they moved into their commercial kitchen space, help from entrepreneurs like Matt and Amy Thompson, owners of ArtSUX, and the Rent Relief Program from Downtown Partners made the move possible. Ongoing support on spreading the word about their business and educational programs offered by Iowa’s West Coast Initiative and the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce have been invaluable. Then there is the Sioux City Farmer’s Market, it has been a fantastic place for them to grow their business. Their experience with the farmer’s market is on the list as being the most influential experience. It is where, as a small business, they get to interact with the farmer’s market community, and have the chance to work on their business in real-time. 

The other experience that has been influential is being active in the events hosted by Downtown Partner, Iowa’s West Coast Initiative, Siouxland Chamber of Commerce, and the other opportunities presented by the colleges and universities in the area. All of these provided some opportunity to network or learn about topics that small businesses can relate to. Supporting small businesses and startups is critical for the community. The people behind these small businesses are the ones planting their roots in this community. On occasion, you may hear someone say there is nothing to do in Sioux City and the surrounding areas. These small businesses are the ones that are making things happen, so we have things to do in this community. We have unique small businesses like breweries, food trucks, bakeries, dog treat makers, restaurants, jewelry makers, photographers, and the list goes on and on. All these small businesses support each other because they recognize the importance of keeping business local, and they need the community’s support to keep growing. 

When asking Jake Hawkins, the owner of Crumb., how the community could support their business, he said, “The most helpful thing the community can do to support us is not just spend money with us but spread the word about what we are doing.” It makes a difference to share with others that Sioux City has some amazing entrepreneurs doing pretty great things in the community. He hopes that you will help spread the word.

Crumb. has moved into their commercial kitchen space. The next step is to open a retail presence in that space. It is unclear when that will happen yet. Until then, they are looking forward to 2024 and growing their business at the Sioux City Farmer’s Market and through other collaborations, like the one they have with Main and Abbey at the Hard Rock. They are also working on adding an online store so you can order their products straight from their website. Now that is a delicious improvement.

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