I grew up in East Oakland in the fifties and sixties. It was quiet and very safe. Our family knew everyone on our block. I lived in a house with both parents and six siblings until I was grown. My father worked two jobs all his life and did not have much time to spend with us. Even though I got my work habits from my dad, I was determined to better balance my life.
In the 10th grade I joined an organization call Junior Achievement. We started our own corporation, sold stocks, manufactured a home made product, and sold it. I was elected Vice President of Sales. At the end of the school year all the Junior Achievement groups from 15 cities would have a jamboree and go to a mall and set up and sell our goods. I came up with an idea. Why not go to the malls, just our company, and sell months before the jamboree? It worked. We were the highest grossing company and I won the Vice President of Sales award for that year.
My bakery is only two miles from our family home. I work very hard in my business, but I spend a great amount of time with my children. I made sure that my children had and still have a good relationship with me. There are eight children in my family, two college graduates, two in college, and four under 16 years. People ask me how all my older children ended up in college. I tell them that the hard work in the bakery inspired them to seek higher education. My dream is that one of or more of my children will continue and make our business grow.
Delightful Foods bakes and sells The No Cookie cookie. It has No dairy, No eggs, and No wheat, but Yes they’re chewy, Yes they’re moist, and Yes they’re delicious!
I started the bakery in 1979 selling non-vegan cookies and pies. As a young man I was a good salesman and I loved to bake, so I decided to create and sell my own products. My biggest challenge in the beginning and now is lack of investment capital. I always talk about how I could write a book on how to grow a business (slowly) just with profits. I have had to grow my business without loans or investments.
We have 200 health food stores that sell our cookies. The No cookie is sold online, and we ship to individuals all over the country. We have a small local distributor who sells our cookie to dozens of stores. What makes the No Cookie cookie special is that it tastes delicious, even though we had to take the dairy, the eggs and the wheat out of the cookie. 95% of our customers are not vegan. They buy it because it taste good, and it just happens to be made with good clean ingredients.
The No Cookie has had the same label for 20 years and we (my family) and I are excited about putting my youngest daughter on the label and promoting a family run bakery. We are going to take this new energy and do PR, open many new accounts, and expand our web business. I am very proud that I am a first generation business man with out a college degree, that has kept this business going, provided for my family, and sent my children to college. Now all of them are taking some sort of interest in the family business, and maybe God wiling they will take it further one day.
Move oven and install into utilities. $6,700.00
purchase 3 compartment sink
and mop sink. 900.00
2 stainless steel tables 335.00
Design and print new labels, cards,
brochures, and shelf talkers 2,065.00
This loan will help me to move to a more efficient bakery which will decrease our cost. The new gluten free cookie will enable us to sell this new cookie to hundreds of new stores and also to put them in hundreds of our existing accounts. This should increase our sales over 100% over the next two years and increase our profit 15-20%
My family is my life. I have 2 more children entering college soon and this loan will help to increase my business and in turn help me to finance this.