Entrepreneur Molly Baker is a self-proclaimed “feeder.” Her take on local, organic, seasonal, made-to-order food is bringing happiness to Connecticut one popsicle at a time.
Growing up, Baker was introduced to eating good food by her father, who was an entrepreneur and restaurant owner. “My dad was a great role model,” she says.
Baker began learning about food preparation when she was a teenager and worked in restaurants throughout her 20s, before she started a family. Although she had an entrepreneurial drive, Baker didn’t always think she’d wind up in the food industry.
“After I had a family, I was trying to figure myself out,” she explains. “I took a personal assistant job, which taught me to be assertive–but I wasn’t passionate about it.”
TAKING THE ENTREPRENEURIAL LEAP
Baker began gravitating toward an entrepreneurial lifestyle a few years ago after she experienced some life changes that led to “deep digging.”
In terms of developing a business concept, Baker says she was always interested in food. The idea to be a personal chef and do home meal preparation started with local family.
“They were too busy to prepare healthy weekday meals,” Baker says. “I told them: You buy the food, I’ll prepare it for the week.”
She found it therapeutic to feed and care for others and wondered how she could bring her skills to others.
“I originally thought of owning a healthy food truck,” Baker recalls, but she realized she should probably scale back. She remembers asking herself, “What can I enjoy doing but on a smaller, more manageable scale?”
Baker had many conceptual ideas. “I knew I wanted to make my own happiness in the workforce,” she emphasizes. “I also knew I wanted to be in charge. Whatever it was I was creating, I wanted it to be my voice—it’s important that it’s me.”
She adds, “I’ve always had a good worth ethic. I wanted to work hard and reap the benefits.”
Baker spent time with family and close friends discussing her life journey and where her career was headed. “Then I jumped.”
Earlier this year, Baker came up with the concept for healthy cooking classes, and Let’s Start From Scratch grew from there.
The startup launched around March 2016. “I quit all my other jobs. I had no fallback—it was time to take the scary leap,” she recalls.
BUILDING A CLIENT BASE
Baker began by creating business cards and posting them on bulletin boards in local businesses. “I had my first call from what became my first client within an hour.”
“These events were good for market research,” she notes. “I could test recipes, such as popsicle flavor combinations, which were a huge hit in the summer.”
In fact, Let’s Start From Scratch popsicles were recently featured at a farm to table event at Sub Edge Farm in Farmington, CT.
Her beginning goals were simply to “start, get clients, and really get going.” In the future Baker says wants to continue to build her client base.
Having a storefront is also a possibly. “I could see having a small place of my own where customers buy food and feel great about it,” she notes.
FINDING BALANCE AS AN ENTREPRENEUR
Let’s Start From Scratch provides a variety of food-related services including personal chef-prepared meals, boutique catering, and healthy cooking classes in clients’ homes.
“I’m not reinventing the wheel,” Baker notes. “I want to make healthy food relatable and accessible to people.”
What makes Let’s Start From Scratch unique is that the meals are customizable and designed to meet clients’ nutritional and dietary needs. “I want to help people change their dietary lifestyle,” says Baker. “I’m working with people and rooting for their overall happiness as well.”
She emphasizes the importance of making people happy without sacrificing her own happiness. “As a mom it’s important to be present and find balance.”
Regarding her life as an entrepreneur, Baker says, “I’m passionate about business ownership. The challenges are worth it.”
She adds, “I really care where this business goes—I want it to be as good as it can be. I care about the product and what I’m feeding people.”