Dawn Casale

Brooklyn, New York, United States

Baker, Bakery Owner, Pastry Chef Twitter Linkedin Facebook

One Girl Cookies

As a small business owner, each day arrives with a new set of surprises, challenges, lessons, trials and satisfactions. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I opened One Girl Cookies to better my own life. I didn’t realize the positive impact I would have on the community, my employees and of course, the customers. We are making a difference. When people come into our shop, if they aren’t already happy, there’s a very good chance they will leave happy. What’s better than that?

We’ve been in business since 2000 and have 35 employees in two different Brooklyn locations.

As a PivotPlanet advisor, I can help you figure out the best way to transition into a baking career that suits your financial situation, your personality and what you hope to accomplish.

NOTE:
My general availability for PivotPlanet sessions is as follows:
Mon-Fri, 9:30am Eastern - 4:00pm Eastern
or
Mon, Thurs or Fri, 8pm Eastern

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I was working in a high-end New York City department store and realized that in order to move any further in that career, would mean distancing myself from the customers—the part of the job I loved the most. I’d always had a passion for baking, so I decided to see what I could do with that.

In my retail job I worked closely with buyers, visual merchandising staff and customers. My role at One Girl Cookies mimics that in many ways. That is not unintentional.

My "job description" (I use the term loosely) involves HR and marketing/PR/visual display. It’s important to me to be a good employer. I get a lot of pleasure challenging and teaching our employees to be the best they can be.

What I gained by starting my business was the ability to determine how big I did or didn't want it to become and how far I wanted to take it.

Some of the early challenges for me were not being on top of the business/financial part as I should have been. It's not the fun part for me, so it was easy to neglect. But we figured it out and despite the slow economy and new competition, we are thriving.

This is not a business that you get into to get rich. But the rewards are plenty. I love being a part of our customer's lives and developing relationships with them. Although I often have to do things I don't want to, this job provides me with everything I need to feel professionally fulfilled. Because my husband is my business partner, we have been able to create the balance of work/life that we need in order to be good parents and business owners. I enjoy working with people, collaborating on projects and having the ability (most of the time) to delegate things tasks that I really don't want to do.

Reviews (6)

    Dawn and Dave's mentorship was incredibly helpful in my due diligence and exploration of possibly opening my own gluten-free bakery....Dave and Dawn explained things to me in a way that my analytical brain would understand. I loved how they didn't hold back from giving me the "real deal" -- the good, the bad and the sometimes ugly side of being an entrepreneur.

    A.T., Fort Wayne, IN

    Dawn helped me realize how critical marketing is to the business -- and it's NOT my strong suit. Makes me a bit nervous but not a show-stopper. When the time comes, I will need help from someone like Dawn. She's a whiz at the marketing side of things.

    Meg Alexander

    Dawn and Dave were fantastic. They were so open about answering not only all of our business questions but also our "So, how does it work being business partners? How do you keep both the career and relationship passion alive without losing one or the other?" They were an open book re: their expenses….capital investment….how to buy quality-used (vs. new) equipment, etc. Their expertise was invaluable.

    Jill G-W, King of Prussia, PA, USA

    Dawn was a wonderful resource and I may use her again. She answered all of our questions. About 10 years ago I went for a weekend to Portland Oregon to work with the folks at Pearl Bakery. This was when your company was VocationVacations. I had a terrific experience but wasn't quite ready to commit to a drastic change in my career. But, now I'm giving the thought of opening a bakery a whirl again.

    Lisa

    Dawn provided me a financial reality check on what was needed to operate a bakery and be successful.

    Dawn Treco, Pleasantville, NY, USA

    Dawn answered all my questions. I learned a ton about what it really takes to run a successful food business.

    Cindy Meyers, San Francisco, CA, USA