Intricate Icings Cake Design

Cake design business growing by 50 percent annually

149 S. Briggs St., Ste. 100 Erie, CO 80516

303-479-9922 | Visit Website

There are bright spots in the current economy and the SBDC is good at finding them. One shining example of success from Erie, Colorado is Rachael Teufel, owner of Intricate Icings Cake Design. Rachael has grown her business over the last year by a whopping 50%, and increased her number of employees from three to five. Not bad for a small business start up during the most challenging economy in 70 years!

Rachael started her business almost accidently. She began her career as a physical therapist (P.T.). Although she loved her P.T. graduate program, when she began working in the field, she found it was not a good fit. As a P.T. her days were stressful. In the evenings she nurtured herself and new husband John by baking...an activity she enjoyed as a child with her Hungarian grandmother. She further fostered her creativity by taking Wilton cake decorating classes at Michaels arts and crafts stores, and was so good at decorating she began teaching classes.

In 2006, Rachael worked part time as a physical therapist, and baked wedding cakes part time. She made connections with banquet halls and word of mouth grew about her beautiful, delicious creations. 2007 was a watershed year: it was her first season of baking wedding cakes and she had a baby boy, Tyler. In 2008, her sales topped one hundred wedding cakes. By 2009 she outgrew her rental kitchen, and sought a professional bakery with a client-friendly storefront. Rachael turned to the Boulder SBDC for help.

The SBDC guided Rachael to take relevant classes and connected her with a consultant who helped her expand her business. She took the Start Up Essentials workshop with veteran SBDC consultant Theresa Pickner. Rachael consulted Chuck Hunker, whom she credits with making a “huge difference” in her company’s growth. Chuck reviewed her business plan and financial statements, recommending that she spend more of her budget on advertising. He reviewed the lease contract she was contemplating. One of the best tips she got from Chuck was to negotiate her lease price more aggressively. It was May, 2009, the storefront was in a new location in the young town of Erie, and it was a buyer’s market. Rachael bargained her square footage lease amount down $2.00 per square foot on a 5-year lease, saving her thousands of dollars.

Now in her new space, Rachael can really cook! One of her most successful marketing strategies is to enter cake decorating competitions. She was the First Place Winner in the Best Wedding Cakes 2009 Denver Channel 7 A-list; First Place Winner for Division 8-tiered cakes at the 2010 Denver Garden and Home show; and the Grand Prize winner for the 2010 Colorado Chocolate Festival. Recently Rachael was a competitor on the Food Network Challenge, Roller Derby Cakes, receiving national attention from a top cable network.

Rachael plans to return to the Boulder SBDC this fall for a new round of workshops and consulting on financial projections. But she will wait until her hot business cools once the wedding season slows. And she looks forward to spending time at home with her two well-fed supporters, John and Tyler.

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