A Conversation with Susan Sarich, Founder of SusieCakes

Susie Cakes

If you have not tried SusieCakes, you’ve been missing a lot. I was not into cupcakes because I thought they all taste the same. When a friend introduced me to SusieCakes, I became a regular customer. Of course, as a blogger/writer, I could not help but be inspired with the person behind this mouth-watering sweet wonder.

Meet Susan Sarich, founder of SusieCakes. SusieCakes is an all-American bakery offering home-style dessert that is made daily by in-house bakers with only simple and freshest ingredients. Today, SusieCakes is one of the fastest growing bakeries/businesses in California. The bakery has also been featured on different media such as  Time magazine, LA Times, Entrepreneur magazine, Forbes, Glamour, US Weekly, Martha Stewart Wedding, and a lot more. I had the pleasure to ask Susan about her background, what makes SusieCakes different from the rest and the future of SusieCakes.

Ruchel: What ignited the spark to start SusieCakes?
Susie: I strongly believe baked goods, cakes in particular, can bring people together and as such, our mission is “Connecting Through Celebration”. I wanted a business that did this through paying tribute to the wonderful desserts my grandmothers made for me as a girl in Chicago (all of our recipes are based upon their original ones!). I didn’t see a lot of bakeries still baking on-site, from scratch, daily & thought there was an opportunity to really bring something special to the marketplace.

 

Mini cupcakes at Susie Cakes
Ruchel: What sort of training or experience did you have prior to opening the bakery?
Susie: I had 15 years of hospitality experience in all aspects of food & beverage management, in luxury hotels, restaurants & clubs. Additionally, I received a B.S. from Cornell University’s School of Hotel administration.
Ruchel: You opened your first bakery in 2006, how difficult was the first year? What is the biggest challenge you face owning SusieCakes?
Susie: The first year was no more difficult than it is now 10 years later – the same challenges existed as they do today . . .  on-going rising costs of raw ingredients (premium butter, chocolate, etc), labor, & rents.

 

Susie Cakes at Laguna Niguel
Ruchel: What is your favorite story/experience of owning a bakery? Or proudest accomplishment with SusieCakes?
Susie: So many ones through the years! Overall, I’d say every single time a guest shares with me that our cake was part of their special celebrations (wedding, birthday, anniversary, etc), I am extremely humbled and proud. I also am tremendously proud of all the team members who been with SusieCakes for many years and have seen their careers blossom here.
Ruchel: Describe/outline your typical day?
Susie: There is certainly no typical day for me. It really varies depending – to give some examples: I can be in the office working on strategic initiatives,  in the bakeries working alongside team members and meeting guests, in a new city looking at potential real estate locations, on a construction site checking on progress, or on the phone interviewing candidates.

 

SusieCakes is an all-American bakery using the freshest & finest ingredients
Ruchel: With all the gourmet cupcake craze, how do you compete with other cupcake shops?
Susie: Given our dessert offerings are quite extensive (cakes, pies, puddings, cookies, bars & cheesecakes), we really don’t consider ourselves a cupcake shop. However, if we were just to compare our cupcakes to others in the marketplace, I would say our point of differentiation is that we bake on site, daily from scratch ingredients (butter, flour, sugar, eggs).  Additionally, our cupcakes all are frosting-filled, which means each one has an extra dollop of frosting in the middle!
Ruchel: I’ve tried most of your cupcakes, and I say my favorites are Coconut and Strawberry, what is your favorite?
Susie: The vanilla cupcake with SusieBlue vanilla frosting is my absolute favorite! At heart, I am a “back to basics” individual.
Ruchel: I see you also sell a little bit of party accessories and favors, any plans of expanding these lines?
Susie: At this time we are exploring adding some branded serving & baking items.

 

Susie Cakes
Ruchel: Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Susie: I admire many different companies for various reasons, but I do have tremendous admiration and a special spot in my heart for Spanx, primarily because of the courage their founder, Sara Blakely, had to pursue her dream when she was told her idea wasn’t a good one! She is a visionary & a great role model for female entrepreneurs.
Ruchel: What is your vision for the future of SusieCakes?
Susie: My vision is for SusieCakes to become a national brand and a household name synonymous with celebration!
 Susan Sarich founder of Susie Cakes
Follow Susie Cakes on Instagram – @susiecakesbakery and Facebook
Special thanks to Kristin Farley
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Comments

  1. Kathleen says:

    I am a total fan! I’m often in the Susie’s in Laguna Niguel for their gluten free options! The BEST gluten free chocolate cupcakes anywhere! They also carry 2 gluten free cookies — peanut butter and oatmeal raisin. AWESOME!!!

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