The concept first got here to Melissa Stefaniak whilst she changed into baking in her small New York City apartment, which had treasured little room for flour and sugar, not to mention standing mixers or cookie sheets.
“I love to bake – it’s usually been a creative, meditative outlet for me,” the University of Virginia Darden School of Business scholar said. “But it became simply my husband and me on this tiny rental, and we really didn’t want an entire tray of cakes around.”
And so, as Stefaniak stirred brownie batter, frosted desserts, and balanced flour precariously on her counter, a concept commenced shaping.
“I realized that, if I ought to miniaturize my favorite recipes into one or servings, we’d no longer waste any food or must sense responsible for eating more than we possibly need to,” she stated.
That concept became an enterprise – Single Baked Sweets – and that business took Stefaniak to lower back domestic to Virginia, where she enrolled in Darden’s Executive MBA program and, final summer time, joined UVA’s iLab startup incubator. After the iLab, she ends her consulting job with Ernst & Young to cognizance on Single Baked Sweets full-time.
The fundamental idea is near what Stefaniak firstly predicted. Each purchaser receives a small package with a foil ramekin, simple commands and pre-measured dry elements for one in every of 5 recipes – a classic chocolate chip cookie, an s’mores pie, a sugar cookie, and dark chocolate chip cookies, one with white chocolate chips and one with peanut butter.
All the purchaser has to do is soften a tablespoon or so of butter, blend the whole thing together and dad the ramekin in an oven or toaster oven. A little while later, a heat, homemade deal with emerge.
“I wanted to hold the step-via-step factor of baking, which I discover amusing, at the same time as making it surely simple,” Stefaniak stated. “And of direction, it has to taste desirable.”
The concept – harking back to an increasing number of famous meal kits – has stuck on.
Stefaniak received the Entrepreneurship Cup at UVA, and turned into invited to Austin, Texas’ South by way of Southwest competition last month, in which she joined 24 other marketers in a prestigious Startup of the Year Competition so that it will result in October. She additionally met with Darden alumni on the festival through the Darden Connect program, which includes challenge capitalists, viable buyers, and alumni who’ve started out or run their personal companies.
She honed her pitch with Darden lecturer and angel investor Damon Devito, who teaches Stefaniak in a “Venture Velocity” path designed for marketers with a prepared-to-launch commercial enterprise. The path works in -week segments, workshopping ideas and tweaking their businesses based on one-on-one feedback classes with Devito.
“Melissa’s idea really resonates with humans,” said Devito, who introduced a number of the kits domestic for his daughter to try. “She loved it, and its tastes remarkable. … It’s sweet, but no longer guilt-inducing, which seems to be what American consumers want proper now. High-quality, tasty products with real substances, in affordable quantities. She’s identifying that balance.”