EKU SBDC Client Success Story: Clementine's Bake Shop

EKU SBDC Client Success Story: Clementine's Bake Shop

Drew & Lindsay Elliott: Clementine's Bakery Shop

Drew Elliott and his wife Lindsay are the proud owners of Clementine's Bakery shop. Drew recounts the beginning of Clementine's Bakery: "We started selling [our products] at our farmer's market in 2011. It was a kind of a side job."  

The business idea of Clementine's Bake Shop came from Drew's passion to bake. Initially, he was going to grow the produce on the farm in order to start a grocery store. However, Drew believed that baking was the alternative business he was meant to do. "I found out that I was a better baker than I was a gardener," Drew said.  Although he always had a passion for cooking and baking his whole life, the business idea's potential was further cultivated when he became an apprentice to a man who from Paris, France and taught Drew how to fine-tune his baking. Elliott said that he was able to perfect his cooking and baking skills alongside the man for a while and eventually began forming an entrepreneurial mindset. "Beyond having a skill-set, I was tired of working jobs for other people. I really enjoy being my own boss," Drew said.

Although they do not have a store-front for their business, Drew and Lindsay are able to create quality pastries and bakery items for most local vendors and customers in Madison County at their farm on Scaffold Cane Road in Berea. 

The couple both formed a pastry-certified kitchen in 2014 that enabled them to expand their product line; according to Drew, that was when they got their commercialized kitchen licensed that the business came into its "full capacity."

Drew stated that in 2015, he and Lindsay met with director Jason Rainey of the Small Business Development Center for the final part of the United Way grant that they were able to obtain. "He (Jason) gave us advice on the 'forecasting' part of the business plan." Drew also stated that Mr. Rainey was very helpful with offering information on who to contact for obtaining licenses in Madison County. He said that he plans on continuing the relationship that he and his wife Lindsay have started with the Small Business Development Center in the future as their business continues to expand. The couple states that a variety of stores retail their products, including shops such as Purdy's Coffee Shop, Four Sister's Tea, and Soap Emporium.

Due to their E-acceptable standards, Clementine's Bake Shop offers healthier options than most of the common business bakery threads in the area. Drew said that "low income people can get (their) products," and that is one of the most rewarding aspects of his and Lindsay's business. He said that as a result of the business's distribution to other entrepreneurs, a lot of vendors in the community are doing better in their own businesses because of the continuing trend of contribution to other local small businesses. Drew said that he does this himself, and actually buys products such as sorghum, eggs, and other farm-produced items from local farmers and vendors in the area. "I've been able to do that and make that contribution and that's something I'd like to continue seeing here," Drew said.

When asked what his and Lindsay's future plans were for the business, Drew stated that the business is currently a proprietorship, but that soon will change and he anticipates hiring employees because of the rapid expansion of Clementine's. "We're getting to the point where we're going to have to have employees because the business is booming," Drew said.  Drew's other future plans for the business will incorporate building a larger facility and becoming "an aggregation point" in the county and surrounding counties. He stated that he would also like to help people in local businesses relating to the food industry figure out their distribution amongst other businesses so that they can also be supporters of the other businesses in order to make a stronger ecosystem in the region.

Clementine's Bake Shop's retail customer service includes the Farmer's Market at Old Churchill Weaver building on Saturdays 10-1pm; Berea retailers include Happy Meadows Grocery store, Berea College Farm Store; Tea Shop Herb and Willow and The Village Trough; Somerset retailers include The Market on Main. Throughout the summer, Clementine's products are retailed in Richmond, Berea, and Somerset's Farmer's Market in the summer. 

Drew and Lindsay encourage anyone seeking information on their products and wholesale price list to contact them through their Facebook page, Clementine's Bake Shop, or through email or phone: clementinesbakery@gmail.com and 859-756-3031.

Published on December 10, 2015