As delicious as his baked goods are, Clay Cerna, owner of Sweetbox Delivery, doesn’t see them as the key to his success. While he and two part-time bakers hand-make many different pastries, including his famous stuffed bagels, Cerna believes the delivery side of his business is the real sweet spot.
“From the beginning, it was always delivery. That’s mainly because Spokane doesn’t have many delivery services” Cerna says. The secret ingredient to his delivery success is that he delivers not only his own baked goods, but those of other bakeries as well, including Just American Desserts, Boots Bakery, and even Cyrus O’Leary’s Pies. “I buy wholesale from them, so basically I’m a vendor for them” he says, adding that he currently works only on an order-by-order basis.
And Cerna continues to diversify his income streams, with positive results. In addition to wholesale supplying and direct sales via event and office delivery, he’s added a subscription service for clients wanting to receive delivered boxes of baked goods either weekly or monthly. “Our income is four times what it was last year…our business has been cash-flow positive since six-weeks in” Cerna says.
Cerna cites Spokane’s supportive entrepreneurial environment as one reason for his success. “Some community leaders were kind enough to mentor me and help me get started” he says, referring to local resources he utilized, like the Small Business Development Center and the SNAP Women’s Business Center. For those looking to launch their own idea, Cerna says “there’s no place like Spokane to start a business. There’s a lot of support here.”
To learn more about Sweetbox Delivery and to order some sweet treats, click here.