It's been Lisa Reid's dream to open her own bakery since she was 19, and now that she's accomplished that she's feeling excited that she's doing exactly what she should be doing.
If it's been nothing else, she said it's been a learning experience launching Tiers by Lisa Reid. Working with Gwinnett County was a bit of a challenge, she says, with first filling out applications for the wrong type of food business license.
The city of Lilburn ended up helping walk her through all the ins and outs, and Reid is very grateful. Without them, she said "I probably wouldn't be opening."
Now, the new shop, located at 5514 Lawrenceville Highway, has been open a few short weeks. And, this week it is celebrating its grand opening.
Patch stopped in the shop just before the big week to see why Reid stepped out on faith to pursue her dream.
Question and Answer
Patch: Is this your first bakey? What made you go out on a limb in these slow economic times?
Reid: Well, this is my first store front. Let me just preface it with that. I used to bake wedding cakes and party cakes out of my home when my children were small. And, I attempted to branch out and get my own place. Let's just say, I learned a lot. And, it was just, it didn't work as well as I had hoped, but it was a good experience for me because now that I was ready, now that I'm even more ready it gave me the experience I needed so I knew somewhat what to expect here. Now, I learned a lot of things with this, too. This is different. So, it's just been a dream of mine since I was 19.
Patch: How long have you been baking?
Reid: Oh, I baked my first cake when I was 9. My mom was a home economics teacher, so I was just underneath her. Out of the four girls, I'm the one that got the cooking and the baking gene.
Patch: What was that first cake?
Reid: It was a golden yellow cake with dark chocolate icing.
Patch: And, you made it from scratch?
Patch: Well, you know I had to be sure.
Reid: Well, yes, absolutely.
Patch: Back to the business, what kind of work is it trying to get this business going?
Reid: Well, I learned a lot. I have an administration background. I used to work for Georgia Tech. There was a leadership change, and they bring in their own people, they like to do their own thing. So, I just said, 'you know, maybe it's time for me to leave.' So, I took my retirement, and just dumped it all into the bakery.
And, the one thing that I learned is that you really need to do your research because the information that you really need isn't out there, so when you think you're doing everything you possibly can, someone says, 'oh wait, you need this.' So, there really isn't anything on the website -- you know, county -- that says this is what you need to do.
Patch: Does it scare you that you put all your retirement money into the business?
Reid: I kind of feel like it was not enough to sustain me anyway. So, why not pursue my dream -- which has been my dream since I was 19 years old. I'm 46 now -- and build it again. Build it again. There's plenty of people who have gone through their retirement just to survive, and they don't have anything. They're still struggling to make it. So, I think this is a blessing more than a problem for me later.
Patch: You probably already had a base of customers?
Reid: Yeah, I did have a base of customers who always call me for holidays and birthdays... We're getting more and more foot traffic every day. People are noticing that we're here. The day that I got my license from the state there was a family that said 'we've been waiting for you.' They said, 'there's no bakeries, other than Publix; there's no bakeries; we've been waiting for you to open.' It was just a ceremonial, turn the light on to be open. They just happened to be there, and they came in and bought some red velvet cupcakes, and sat in the parking lot and ate.
Patch: What's your key to success?
Reid: I think it's unfortunate, we put so much into our jobs and we give so much to everyone else's success. You know, why not give it to myself. I try to put forth excellence in everything that I do, so why wouldn't I want to do that for myself. It's hard, no matter where you work. It's hard if you're working for somebody else. It's hard if you're working for yourself.
Patch: What kind of advice would you give to others who may be hesitant?
Reid: I was an executive assistant for almost 20 years. You know, my work span. And, I have a heart of service, so it was easy work for me. It was stressful at times. But, it's like said I before, why shouldn't I put that energy into something I love doing?
I posted on my Facebook page last week, 'I love my career,' and I do. When I bake, and I see people enjoying the fruits of the labor of my hands, that gives me satisfaction, so I might as well just put all my effort into it. So, one day, I'll be on Cupcake Wars -- Lilburn's own.
Tiers by Lisa Reid is located at 5514 Lawrenceville Highway, Suite F. Hours are: Tuesday and Wednesday, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.; and Saturday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Check out the business' website and Facebook page for more information.