Profile: Ne’Andrea Hawkins, Sweet Thing Bakeshop
Sweet Thing Bake Shop is a quaint little coffee and bakeshop located in the historic district of Leesville, LA. They are quite popular for their tasty treats in the area!
Hopefully, Sweet Thing will be providing fresh baked goods for Java Joe’s in the very near future!
Ne’Andrea Hawkins is a Mississippi Girl by birth, but Louisiana to the core. She is the daughter of an Army veteran and a graduate of Leesville High School. She is married to a Leesville native (Antoine Hawkins). They have two children (Layla age 7 and Judah James age 5)
Ne’Andrea, Owner and head Pastry Chef, realized her passion for desserts and immediately quit her pursuit of a career with AT&T. She spent the next six months writing a Business Plan, and then, jumped head first into the world of butter, sugar, and flour!
Writing a Business Plan, though torturous was the best thing Ne’Andrea could have ever done. She started Sweet Thing Bakeshop with the desire to create gorgeous, delicious, modern looking desserts.
Sweet Thing Bakeshop specializes in custom desserts that taste as good as they look.. She is very active in her local church (Mt. Olive Baptist Church). She also actively works with Leesville’s local main street program.
In the summer, Sweet Thing Bakeshop offers baking/decorating classes at the Martin Luther King Community Center for school age children.
In her spare time, Ne’Andrea loves to read “Pete the Cat” to her children, eat Chocolate Chip cookies, and “Netflix and Chill” with her husband.
Ne’Andrea’s responses to the questionnaire:
1. How do you best describe your business?
-Sweet Thing Bakeshop is a small Boutique Bakery. We specialize in classic sweets, and celebration cakes. We offer gourmet cookies, cakes, decadent brownies, Macarons, and cupcakes daily.
2. What is the best decision and the worst decision that you ever made about your business?
⁃ The best decision I ever made for my business was writing a Business Plan. The worst decision was not taking any time off in the first two years.
3. What was the best and worst advice that you received from someone else about your business?
⁃ The best advice I ever received from someone was, “Find one thing, and become the best at it. “. The worst advice, “don’t worry, it will fix itself.”
4. What was the catalyst that led you to start your business when you did?
⁃ I was working a job that was not fulfilling to me. I had no control over my time and creativity.
5. What was the hardest part about actually opening your business?
⁃ Having the guts to do it! It’s hard to jump into the unknown.
6. What do you wish you had known before starting your business?
⁃ I wish I would have known the importance for
7. What is your best advice for someone considering opening her own business?
⁃ Sit down and think about how much money/resources you will need to open your business. Then, multiply that number by two!
8. Did you have a mentor, or a woman in business who inspired you (at any age)?
⁃ My business mentor is a former supervisor of mine. She has always been an encouraging presence.
9. What skills do you think it takes to be successful as a woman in business?
⁃ I think that women have to have self-belief, if you don’t you can succeed, then you won’t get very far. Be ambitious, be fearless
10. What has been your proudest business moment?
⁃ One of my proudest business moments was being recognized by the City of Leesville for have an outstanding business
11. What are your plans for the future with your business?
⁃ I plan to diversify my business into more wholesale customers, and large businesses.
12. Do you have any recommended resources for women considering going into business?
13. What do you think has helped the most with the success of your business?
⁃ I have a phenomenal support system. Building a ladder is important. I am so grateful to be able to stand on the shoulders of some amazing women.
14. Do you have any closing thoughts that you would like to share with other Female Entrepreneurs?
⁃ Be fearless! Take risks. Remind yourself of all the things you have achieved.