Lisa Watson

Portland, Oregon, United States

Bakery Owner, Baker Twitter Linkedin Facebook

Cupcake Jones

I opened Cupcake Jones in 2007 and I simply LOVE what I do! Who wouldn't love making people smile each day with amazing artisan cupcakes?

We employ 11-14 people in our bakery and also have an award winning wedding business. We’re known as being a great place to work and that is something I am very proud of.

My advice before you start out on your own is to work in the bakery business first and be a sponge. Learn everything you can about baking, customer service, marketing, and managing employees. If you want to be a chef/owner plan to work REALLY LONG HOURS and invest in culinary school.

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I always knew I would own my own business. I opened a lemonade stand when I was five and sold my first glass of lemonade to my dad for five cents. I’ve been hooked on food service ever since. I’ve scooped ice cream, managed delis and fast food taco joints. I've sold everything from turkey breast to Greek food to Sarah Lee and Hormel bacon, but cupcakes are my passion.

In 2004, I walked into a specialty bakery while on vacation in Canada and my husband and I fell in love with it. It inspired us to start an artisan bakery of our own. There are many things to love about my career, but the best is the smiles on our customers’ faces. Tasting delicious cupcakes brings out the child in everyone.

Although I would love to spend more time in the kitchen coming up with fabulous creations, I chose to hire pastry chefs and spend my time growing the business. Being in charge of my own business and financial destiny is a double-edged sword, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

My areas of expertise include sales, marketing, HR management, and customer service. I dive in headfirst each day with a focus on service and quality. We consistently score 100% on our county health inspections as I have a commitment to sanitation and accountability. Those two concepts are closely tied together.

We win awards for our wedding services, and receive recognition for philanthropy. Giving back o the community is very important to us.

It’s so important to stay connected to your employees and customers. They will tell you everything that you need to know to continue to improve.

I’ve learned a lot in my years in business, including: don't fear change or technology. Both are inevitable. I also wished I hadn’t spend so much on advertising when we first opened. We got a lot of free publicity. I’ve learned a lot of other lessons that I’d love to share with you.

Your earning potential relies totally on how you finance your business. I started paying myself a consistent paycheck after about a year in business.

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