Small Business Q & A: Sugar Pie Bakery
The homespun bakery in Northeast Cobb offers free tasting parties to local customers.
Lola Wilburn's grandfather knew what he was doing when he nicknamed her, "Sugar Pie." Wilburn, principal of incorporated Sugar Pie Bakery, is the sole worker in her ministry to provide high quality baked goods at a fair price.
Coconut, sweet potato, and pecan pies are Wilburn's specialties and notes that anything can be baked to order and considers her business a personal baker service. Delivery is free within a five mile radius of ZIP Code 30066.
For research purposes, a piece of coconut pie was consumed. Lots of coconut, baked in a melt-in-your-mouth filling was found to be a happy and memorable eating experience. A shoo-fly cupcake was discovered to be sweet and moist, also eaten in the name of journalism.
Wilburn smiles when admitting to having been in the kitchen cooking since she was six years old and has studied culinary arts as a secondary education.
In 2004, Wilburn walked away from corporate life, where her job included managing over two million sq. ft. of property for a multi-national software company, so that she can spend more time giving to the community.
The working area of Sugar Pie Bakery is a simple 8 ft. by 10 ft. Georgia Department of Agriculture certified second kitchen, in the basement of Wilburn's family home in Northeast Cobb. 50-year-old Wilburn has plans to grow her business.
Promotion for the bakery is done by word-of-mouth and an Etsy website.
"Etsy is affordable and easy to do yourself. There're no monthly or upfront payments," Wilburn said. "You only pay when you make a sale."
She is able to compare website costs to a site Wilburn developed for her other endeavor, Panache At Your Price. The personal shopping service built a site that had high maintenance costs and now Wilburn only uses word-of-mouth to promote her outreach effort to help people on tight budgets put together wardrobes. Wilburn is also a Dress For Success volunteer.
Sugar Pie Bakery offers free host tastings to local customers. The party host earns a discount per orders placed at the tasting. Persons interested in learning specifics of organizing a baked goods sampling event should call Wilburn at 678-438-7174.
Q. What's the best thing about your job?
A. I enjoy baking. And, it brings me great joy when I can make someone feel good with my food.
Q. Why did you pick this kind of business?
A. Food is a great way to bring people together. The kinds of things I bake are found at family gatherings. I believe it's good to 'stay in your lane.'
Q. What are some of the services you offer that people may not know about?
A. Children's parties. I had a business before we moved to Cobb, Little People's Catering. I can make doll cakes or other special order cake sculptures.
Q. When did you start your business?
A. Thanksgiving 2009.
Q. How did your business get started?
A. People kind of started it for me. I had an appointment with my doctor and while I was waiting in the office, I saw that the staff was having a rough day. They were handling a lot of problems. After my appointment, I went out to my car, where I had a couple of coconut pies that I was bringing to a friend, and I brought one in and gave it to the staff and thanked them for treating me well. By the time I got to my part time job at Harrison Tennis Center I had four calls from the doctor's staff asking me to bake them a coconut pie.
Q. Do you have advice for anyone who'd like to start a small business in this area?
A. What helped me a lot was talking with the Small Business Association. And, I think it's best to try to do things correctly, follow the laws.
Q. Is there anything else you'd like our readers to know?
A. Check out my website and know that just because you don't see it listed, doesn't mean that it can't be made for you.
Lola Wilburn principal, baker
Sugar Pie Bakery