Bay City bakery owner shares recipe for sweet success - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Bay City bakery owner shares recipe for sweet success

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(01/28/13) - A Bay City bakery owner thinks she's found the recipe for success.

The woman behind Sweet Sandy B's says she mixed together passion, creativity and a little assistance from others to make her dream business.

Long before a batch double chocolate brownies came out of the oven, Sandy Bierlein was hard at work.

From the perfectly measured chocolate chips to each carefully cracked egg, Sandy puts a lot of love into her work.

Bierlein focuses on small batches. "I don't try to mass produce things, I don't want the quality to suffer. And I think the customers can taste that."

After graduating from the University of Michigan, Bierlein began working as an insurance underwriter. After five years, she decided to quite her job and pursue her dream. That took her to Chicago to the French Pastry School. She returned to Mid-Michigan to work at a Midland hotel as a pastry chef before taking a leap of faith.

Last summer, Bierlein decided it was time to put her education to good use, and followed what she believes is the perfect recipe for sweet success.

"I think that's a mistake a lot of business owners do, is that they get too excited about their venture, that they don't make sure they have all their ducks in a row," Bierlein said.

A quick Google search helped Sandy find one of her first ingredients, the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center located at Delta College. "It was a huge sigh of relief, because I was about to go and pay a lawyer to do all this stuff for me that was there as free resource."

Bierlein believes that move saved her $1,000 in fees she would have paid to an attorney.

More research helped Sandy land $5,000 from a venture capital firm, through it's program called 'Start Garden'.

Mix it all together, and Bierlein created a quaint shop on Columbus Avenue in Bay City, where she often works seven days a week.

"I appreciate every dollar that someone gives me for any of the products that I make because I know it's hard earned," Bierlein said.

The one batch of brownies we watched her make from start to finish, took an hour and a half. All that work for only 12 perfect brownies.

"There isn't one day that I regret that I'm doing this," Bierlein said.

The MI-SBTDC says it served 503 businesses in 2011, the latest year statistics are available for. That created 27 new businesses, and 204 new jobs in Mid-Michigan.

For more information on what services the MI-SBTDC provides, including upcoming seminars, click HERE.

For more information on Sweet Sandy B's, click HERE.

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