Can you talk a little bit about the bakery and what you do?
Leslie: We are New York City’s oldest alcoholic cupcakery. We make mini alcoholic cupcakes for adults; not too sweet, just boozy enough, with interesting and creative flavors for an adult palette. No red velvets.
Brooke: We hope to release something totally new in the next few months…
Exciting! What inspired you to start your own business?
Leslie: We’re a pretty typical recession story. Neither of us was finding satisfying work in our fields, and this seemed like something that had real potential. Although I definitely envy people who walked away from lucrative careers to start their own businesses, in some ways, it’s a lot easier to take the big jump when you don’t have a lot to lose.
Brooke: There was never really a light bulb moment. We were both bored and looking for something to do on the side, so we started baking just to pass the time because it was something we enjoyed. We continued walking through the doors that opened until one day it was a matter of signing a lease. We basically just blindly signed it and accepted that we were going to have no idea how it was going to work out.
We moved through a few different programs before finding Bench. Also, a lot of spreadsheets and many hours with a handheld scanner.
How were you doing your bookkeeping before you started working with Bench?
Leslie: We moved through a few different programs before finding Bench. Also, a lot of spreadsheets and many hours with a handheld scanner.
Brooke: Something akin to a shoebox under Leslie’s bed.
And how much time do you spend on your bookkeeping every month?
Brooke: Not much at all, now that Bench is involved.
Autonomy has always been very important to me
Well thankfully, it seems to be working out well. What is your favorite thing about being your own boss?
Leslie: Autonomy has always been very important to me. Also, being able to drink on the job.
Brooke: I like the personal responsibility. It forces you to avoid apathy, though there are some days where I just wish I could take an HR problem to the HR department and say, “this is your problem now, you figure it out!” Except we’re the HR department, and the accounting department, and the janitorial department…
Okay, last business question. If there is one thing you wish you had known before you started your own business, what is it?
Brooke: Business plans, government issued rules and regulations, and professional advice are all subject to change constantly and without warning or logic.
Leslie: The importance of good accounting software, obviously.
Yes, obviously. Okay, back to more interesting questions - what’s the one party that you would most love to cater?
Leslie: The next inauguration. Politicians know how to party.
Brooke: The big annual shindig at the Playboy Mansion, because there’s nothing I love more than completely ridiculous situations.
Both sound awesome! Last question, what are your favorite cupcakes?
Leslie: Probably the Old Fashioned or Hot Buttered Rum.
Brooke: Hot Buttered Rum.