First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a bakery opening and a baby. Anna Gordon of The Good Batch, is a Mom that means business.
Since she started selling her Stroopwafels at the Brooklyn Flea in 2010, Anna has created a full line of baked goods and concoctions ranging from Ice Cream Sandwiches to Brown Butter Salty cookies. With such high demand for her cookies, Anna’s dream became a reality in 2013 when she opened up a modern American sweets bakery located in Clinton Hill, The Good Batch.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we’re so excited to be celebrating our fellow Mompreneurs in Brooklyn. If you’ve ever tried The Good Batch Butter Salty Cookies, then you know that this little lady knows exactly how to make the perfect cookie.
We had the chance to connect with Anna about the beginnings of her bakery and baby on the way. Keep reading - you won’t want to miss this.
1. Tell us about your love story and how The Good Batch got started! How did you get started baking?
I started cooking and baking very young. My parents really let me tinker and experiment, so I loved being in the kitchen from a very early age. The 1960s Betty Crocker Cooky Book was my manuscript!
2. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes bakery and baby! How did you turn your dream of a bakery into a reality? now running a bakery with baby in tow!
Haha, I will be honest and say that the past five years have been a journey that I never could have predicted. I started the company in 2010 by selling my stroopwafels at the Brooklyn Flea, with the simple goal of selling cookies to people other than my family and close friends. I’ve been incredibly fortunate that the demand for what we make has been consistently strong. That demand is what’s made this business a reality. My husband joining The Good Batch full-time in 2013 was a game changer. He was really able to build significant operational and financial structure that has allowed to us grow in a stable way.
Opening a bakery was a longtime pipe dream of ours, so this past year has been a pretty magnificent experience. I’m once again indebted to all the loyal customers and cookie enthusiasts who have supported us and made this dream a reality.
I found out I was pregnant two days after we opened the bakery in September, so it’s fair to say my life has completely changed in every way since then. Except that I still work all the time…that will never change!
3. What is your favorite bakery treat? Bestseller?
Tough question! I’m really a cookie girl, so I still love all of our cookies, especially the Biggie Buttercrunch and Chocolate Hazelnut, which are both new. I’m embarrassed to admit how often those end up being my breakfast while I’m working. I’ve also loved working with layered cakes and developing that program at the bakery. Our ice cream sandwiches are definitely top sellers, as well as cookies and morning pastries. And something really fun for us has been building a coffee program with Counter Culture. I think our coffee and espresso are delicious!
4. What advice would you give to other moms or moms-to-be about starting their own business and being an entrepreneur?
Stay focused. Starting a company is incredibly overwhelming, and it’s very easy to focus on the fun, creative side and ignore the tricky business stuff. But it’s all important, so outline all the things you have to do, and be sure to do them all with equal importance.
Don’t take rejection personally. If I had a nickel for every rude or insulting thing I’ve heard since I started, or time I was rejected, I’d probably own a brownstone in Fort Greene. I learned very quickly that a thick skin is crucial.
Know your bottom line. The whole reason I started this company, and what’s still my favorite part about it is the creativity. It’s critical, however, that you know all your numbers, and how to make a profit. Running a company that loses you money gets old very quickly. Take a class or read a book if you’re intimidated by the finances. Even if you have someone to help you with that side, it’s crucial that you understand it.
Take time for yourself. Running a business is an all-consuming lifestyle. Whenever you can, be sure to take time to do something relaxing to avoid burning out or blowing up. Get a massage, go for a run, snuggle your kids, meditate, go out for a nice dinner, whatever you gotta do to relax your body and let your mind take a breather.
5. Do you have plans to expand the business and/or open additional bakeries?
We are constantly growing our wholesale business, with focus right now on selling fresh cookies to coffee shops and cafes. And there’s a TON of things I plan to do at the bakery, including ice cream cakes and offering some savory baked items. For now, however, my immediate focus is on having this baby and adapting my life to that. Once my husband and I get a handle on that, we will continue our plans to make sure every New Yorker knows The Good Batch. Opening another bakery is definitely not out of the question!
*Photo Credit: Jenna Bascom