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New to city, two girls — who didn’t know one another — took up baking as a method to discover their manner into the group.
Humorous how life works. As a result of now, over a 12 months after assembly at a Farmers’ Market, Renee Lavigueur and Ola Jackson spend virtually each waking hour collectively at their two-week-old enterprise Martinique Desserterie in Musquodoboit Harbour.
“I really feel like we’ve obtained completely different strengths so we complement one another rather well,” Lavigueur mentioned.
“It’s a wedding,” Jackson provides.
“Yeah, we purchased a bakery child collectively and that’s what we’re doing now,” laughs Lavigueur.
They’ve seen one another at our worst and rely upon one another each day.
“It’s so, so hectic working 100 hour work weeks so you actually do must take pleasure in who you’re working with,” Jackson mentioned.
Met on the market
Lavigueur, 37, moved to Musquodoboit Harbour in 2021. She’s a flight attendant from Calgary, married to a pilot initially from Nova Scotia. Being furloughed, Lavigueur began taking on baking in an enormous manner.
“An effective way to satisfy your neighbours is to start out baking, proper? … Dropping off treats to neighbours after which it when issues began opening up once more just like the Farmers’ Promote it was, OK let’s do that.”
She was promoting cupcakes on the market when she met one other newcomer to the world, Ola Jackson.
Jackson moved right here final 12 months and mentioned she didn’t actually know anybody both. However she mentioned she felt a way of group when she began promoting doughnuts on the market and making connections — particularly with Lavigueur.
“I truly messaged her on Instagram and it was fairly loopy however I mentioned ‘Do you need to begin a enterprise collectively?’ as a result of I knew I couldn’t do it alone,” mentioned Jackson, 33. “I’m a stay-at-home mother and I figured as a result of she was a flight attendant, we have been solely capable of commit a sure period of time every and there’s energy in numbers.”
In order that they determined to purchase a meals truck, considering the hours could be versatile. However then alternative got here knocking and now the meals truck is up on the market.
After 15 years in enterprise, the well-known stopping place on the best way to Martinique Seaside, Dobbit’s Bakehouse closed its doorways. The house went up on the market in Dec., 2022.
“We couldn’t move this up,” Lavigueur mentioned. “Who is aware of what it might need been if we hadn’t taken it over? There was fairly the demand from the group (for a bakery).”
However, in fact, it required funding, so the pair reached out the group who have been keen for one more bakery to take up store. By a GoFundMe and different fundraising efforts, they generated round $7,000 to assist outfit the bakery.
“Actually the group got here collectively to do it,” mentioned Jackson.
Speak of the city
That demand for a group bakery confirmed up the primary day — April 15 — within the lengthy queue out the door. They offered out with three hours left to go. It was an emotional day because the pair mentioned they cried quite a bit — “However good crying,” mentioned Jackson. And it’s nonetheless there within the regular movement of site visitors, even on a wet day in April.
“They’re the large discuss of the city,” mentioned common Darren Brown, who snagged a bacon cheddar cruffin (a mix of croissant and muffin).
“You learn the names of the merchandise and it’s virtually like you possibly can’t resolve.”
What started with simply the 2 of them has grown. Now they’ve 5 full-time and part-time staff — all girls. A few of them have chocolate and cake making experience, which Lavigueur hopes so as to add to their choice sooner or later.
Discovering the work-life stability
Their days begin early — baker’s hours — and finish late, often after 12 or 14 hours. They each have kids and their spouses are endlessly supportive, however the girls have grow to be nearer and nearer.
Jackson’s five-year-old daughter will get off from the varsity bus on the bakery each day and will get a snack and settles in with an iPad.
“You do what you must do, however it’s onerous,” Jackson mentioned.
Lavigueur, who has two step children aged 12 and 9, mentioned in the course of the first week in enterprise felt like they have been going dwelling for naps, however now, with the employees, it’s getting higher.
They’ve realized they should handle themselves in addition to their households and enterprise.
“It’s essential to determine that work-life stability as quickly as doable,” mentioned Lavigueur.
Including Jackson: “We rapidly realized week one which what we have been doing wasn’t working and we wanted to prioritize our psychological and bodily well being. Like, standing for 15 hours isn’t pure, working this a lot after which having household at dwelling, it’s not pure.”
Having staff to share the load is price each penny, Jackson added.
“It’s onerous to make your self a precedence within the each day, however you completely must if you need your corporation to succeed since you don’t need to burn out earlier than you even begin.”
Jackson mentioned her recommendation to another girls enthusiastic about beginning one thing like that is to simply go for it.
“Since you at all times suppose that issues aren’t doable till you truly simply do it,” she mentioned. “There’s nothing additional particular about us, we’re simply two strange ladies that have been working jobs and determined to pursue our passions and we did it.