Phind out Phriday: SarahBeth Pappagallo of The Trendy Baker

I’m looking forward to celebrating my birthday in a few weeks with a few friends and family members. I’m excited to host it at my new place and have started menu planning which means ooooo-ing and aaahhhh-ing over pictures and recipes of delicious hor dourves and desserts. I definitely ooooo-ed and aaahhh-ed when I saw pictures of cake truffle on my Facebook feed. I clicked the picture and saw that the baker of such delectable delights was none other than someone I attended undergrad with. I was excited not only at seeing how adding cake truffles my menu would be a sweet choice,  but to talk with SaraBeth Pappagallo about her truffles and her business, The Trendy Baker.   

Phreedum: Who are you in 5 words?

SB: Creative, risk-taker, outgoing, curious, go-getter.

Phreedum: Talk to me about how The Trendy Baker started? 

SB: Actually, it happened by accident. I had a lot going on in my life at the time. I am a teacher, so I work a typical 9 to 5 kind of deal and enjoy it and the steady income that it provides. I’d also sold MaryKay for years for a little extra income and again enjoyed it. However I needed a creative outlet. My nephew was getting baptized and I offered to bake cookies. I baked them, decorated them, and posted pictures on Facebook, and I got a lot of great feedback. I then received request to bake for other people. The Trendy Baker started itself really. It just took off.

Phreedum: What has been a highlight for you in starting The Trendy Baker?

SB: When we had a miscarriage in September, the highlight for me was the joy in starting this. It was a creative outlet and happened to be a healing outlet. People say to me “You’re  a teacher so you get to be creative all day”, but it’s not and wasn’t the same thing. I knew that I needed more, something different. Surprisingly baking and decorating cookies happened to be just that. Baking became a way for me to focus my thoughts, emotions, and energy besides prayer, faith, and my husband. Starting The Trendy Baker really helped me out of a dark place and has provided a joy that I could not have imagined.

Phreedum: Okay, on the flip side, talk to me about one of the more memorable lessons starting your business has taught you?

SB: Balance. Being a relatively new wife (SarahBeth and her husband have been married for a year and a half) and being pregnant again (expecting a boy), balance has been a huge lesson for me. I’m a really curious and ambitious person. I love to do and try new things and I give whatever I do 100%. So daily I am trying to be the best wife, the best teacher, and preparing to be the best mom. However, I have also had to find a way to pursue my passion and give 100% to it because in so doing I give 100% to me and that allows me to be a better wife, teacher, mom, and so forth.

Phreedum: It takes resources to run a good business. What do you consider to be your greatest resource?

SB: My fellow blogging baking women. As business started to take off I found myself doing a lot of research online. I found blogs by other women who bake to be a great source of encouragement. They’d write these amazing blogs with recipes, the reality of their business, running a household, staying motivated, etc. They reminded me I don’t have to be a Martha Stewart- I can be who I am and start where I am. Recently I started a blog, I see it as my way of being a resource to someone else as these women have been and continue to be to me.

Phreedum: What have you had to sacrifice in starting The Trendy Baker?

SB: Well I wouldn’t say it’s  a sacrifice per se, but I will say I have decided to keep The Trendy Baker as a side business for right now as opposed to quitting teaching and taking it on full time. I think it really goes back to me trying to live a balanced life and just acknowledging that given my reality right now as a fairly new wife, a soon to be first time mom, and a teacher, The Trendy Baker has to be well paced. The pace for now is side job.

Phreedum: Who has supported you in this venture?

SB: My husband Tommy has been great. He will ask for samples for me to take to his work. He has even offered to redesign the garage to turn it into my own bakery. My family has also been supportive, especially my mom. My mom has a bakery and she has been cheering me on as she has been down this road. She is a great resource and source of support.

Phreedum: What’s one piece of advice you carry with you?

SB: To be open, willing to learn, and accepting of criticism. As much as I may like an idea, it’s not always a good one or the best one. My poor husband is often my taste tester and I have learned to be open to what he has to say. Sometimes he loves something I tried, other times he says it needs more or less of something. I have to be willing to hear that and then make the necessary changes.  His feedback is to help not bring me down. Oh, and don’t be afraid to fail because if you do, it will hinder you. Try everything. The worse that happens is it doesn’t work out.

Phreedum: Okay, that’s the advice you carry with you, what advice would you like readers to carry with them?

SB: Go for it and start with one small step. My biggest fear is that I will look back and say “I wish I did….” I think there are still times when I am afraid, but O just push myself step by step. I usually have a goal each week. Daily I work towards that goal. I think that if you face your fear the worse that happens is you mess up, the best that happens is that even if you didn’t accomplish what you hoped, you at least conquered a fear. I started off with cookies, but now I am doing cakes and truffles. So that’s my advice- go for it and take one small step at a time.

To learn more about SarahBerth Pappagallo and The Trendy Baker check out her new blog or visit The Trendy Baker Facebook page.

Have a sweet week!



Dr. I. M. Wise said...

Great interview that transcends baking. Much success to both the interviewer and the interviewee!

Dr. I. M. Wise said...

I really enjoyed the interview. The questions invited the subject to provide insightful answers that quite frankly transcended the subject's specialty. I wish/expect much success for both of these gifted entrepreneurs!