6 years in business?!
I cannot believe it's been that long. Let's rewind and take a stroll through memory lane to see how the heck we got here. Come along and take this sweet journey with me
August 2013: THE START UP
I was a teacher at St. Michael's School teaching Kindergarten. I absolutely loved it. I enjoyed being able to have a profound impact on these children. On weekends, you'd often find me baking up some sweet treats just because, haha. It was my way of relaxing.
I was definitely known among my friends and family for my Pumpkin Crunch and Oreo Bon Bon's. Some people even asked me to purchase them. I thought that it was complete ludicrous. I insisted that they purchase the ingredients and I'd make it for them anytime.
After some time, I realized that I could actually create a business out of making bonbon's (truffles) and decided to take a chance. I pre-sold mixed dozen bonbon's and had 4 orders. I was STOKED! People actually wanted to buy something from me??! The next week, we had another "sample sale" that's what I called it and we double our numbers! That continued to be the trend and my business that I created out of the blue, exploded.
January 2014: THE DECISION
After a few months of working a full-time as a teacher, driving over 30 miles home to start baking and not ending until late at night or early the next morning....I knew I had to make a choice. I had to decide whether I would drop this baking thing or stop teaching. I was torn and didn't want to make that decision, but something had to give because I was TIRED.
As I usually do, I set a goal of what numbers I would need to hit in order to stop working full time. I hoped to reach it by June and in 3 months, I did it! That was insane and now I really needed to make a choice. I'll be super honest with you and tell you that I did not want to resign! I even thought up of ways that I could teach part time and run the business full time. My husband knew that it would be too much to handle and told me to just "try" Sugar Hut full time. I turned in my resignation and hoped right into a commercial kitchen so I could legally sell my baked items at farmers markets and events.
June 2014: FARMERS MARKET DAYS
We were baking in a real bakery! Like not in my home. In a place that had 4 commercial ovens and SPACE. Boy did we love the space. We didn't quite enjoy the no ac thing though. So I'd often say......"when I have a bakery, we're definitely working in a place with air conditioning". We geared up with 6-10 people at the commercial kitchen, mass producing anywhere between 3,000 to 5,000 macarons a week.
We found a local farmers market where we could sell the desserts at and sold out in a few hours. The vendors and customers became our "family" and friendships were formed. I had the most bad ass customer EVER. My customers were ride or die and would travel from all over the island to get their hands our desserts.
That's when we knew we needed more.
December 2014: SWEETIE
We searched for a food truck. That was the perfect option for us to make it a little easier for our customers. There were lots of no go's.......as I preferred to arrive to our location without breaking down, lol. Then we finally found the one. She was previously an ice cream truck and was meant for us. Her name was Sweetie! Sweetie frequented Kapolei, Ewa Beach, Mililani and Downtown.
The only downside of sweetie was the fact that I was away from home a lot as I was always in Sweetie, lol. I went gave this business a try because I thought that this would have allowed me the time that I yearned for with my family. That's when I knew I needed to do more strategic planning.
We searched for many different options when looking for a store front. Most were out of our price range because cost of living in Hawaii is so high....but rent on a commercial space can be double if not more than that!
March - May 2016: THE HUT
We found the perfect location. Located a mile away from home, right across the beach, surrounded by good neighbors and exactly how I always envisioned where The Sugar Hut would be. We signed the papers and received the keys to the bakery and in a little less than 2 months, we created our bakery!
The bakery may be close to my home, but most likely not close to yours. Our bakery is DEEP into Ma'ili and we are always so grateful when a customer walks into our doors. To this day, I always express my appreciation as you travel all this way to get your special desserts.
August 2018: NEW LOGO
This was our 5th year in business and I knew I wanted to do something big. Did you know that the creation of our rebranding all took place in about 2 weeks?? I had this wonderful bakery and customers, but it still wasn't spot on. I did some deep digging and tweaked a few things to create THE SUGAR HUT that I absolutely loved. Don't get me wrong, I loved our old logo, but I think we outgrew our old logo. I was no longer going for a cutesy look. I wanted to go for something that I would relate to a little more. If you know me, I can't be any more plain Jane, lol! That's why I chose simple and timeless black and white color scheme and still kept the touch of teal that we are known for.
From the start of opening the bakery I always wanted to offer coffee and milkshakes, but never had the time to work on it. This was it, this was the time. You guys, I sampled so much coffee and milkshake flavors that I actually reached my limit! So when I tell you that my favorite flavor is __________ (fill in the blank), you best believe me that it's a favorite because we tested so many flavors.
August 2019: 6 YEARS
This month, The Sugar Hut is turning 6. Yup, were still a kid guys. Almost a big kid now. I thought how the heck am I gonna top our 5 year anniversary?? Then I thought of the most perfect celebration.
YOU are the main reason why we continue to be in business.
YOU are the heartbeat of The Sugar Hut.
Put simply, YOU are the reason we exist and without your support we wouldn't be here. This anniversary/birthday celebration we want to honor you because YOU ARE MAGICAL!
Stay tuned with all the magical things we'll be creating for you. Save the date for our birthday celebration on August 24th.