Brød Bread & Pastry: Starter Company Plus Success Story
Brød Bread & Pastry is a Scandinavian-style bakery owned by Karen Middleton in Blyth, Ontario. Serving a variety of pastries, hot beverages and classic bakery items, Brød Bread & Pastry is hoping to open its doors at the beginning of October 2021.
The concept for the bakery is in honour of Middleton’s grandmother who was the first person to teach Karen how to bake. The storefront will feature Middleton’s family rye bread amongst other rotating flavours such as tomato and rosemary focaccia and seasonally-inspired offerings. “There’s a lot of work and a lot of love put into each loaf and that is really important to us,” said Middleton.
After working as a pastry chef her entire life, Middleton’s husband encouraged her to open her own bakery. They took a leap of faith and moved their entire family from Guelph, relocating on the main street of Blyth. “Even though we are not open yet, it’s been a really rewarding experience to follow my dream,” said Middleton.
Karen applied to be a part of The Starter Company Plus program offered by Huron County Economic Development and found that the experience was a key moment in her entrepreneurial journey. “It was really scary to start my own business, I felt like a fish out of water, but everyone in the program was super nice and I learned so much. I received so many resources and the program helped give me the confidence that I needed,” said Middleton.
Throughout the program, Karen expanded her knowledge of running a small business, “I learned a lot about my business and how to develop a solid business plan. I learned how to run the ins and outs of my business and how to understand the marketplace and who I will be advertising to. I also learned that I’m not the person who is going to do the taxes! It was a very comprehensive experience.”
It wasn’t just the training that was helpful, but also the grant money that was awarded as part of the program. With the money, Karen was able to purchase a large-scale industrial oven that will allow her to scale the business and ensure that they can make the quantities necessary to be profitable. “The grant is super helpful and the oven is going to help everything run smoothly,” mentioned Middleton.
The Starter Company Plus program also helped Middleton connect with a network of business owners, various local resources and suppliers. Middleton stated that the networking that took place through the Huron County Economic Development was an invaluable resource.
Due to the pandemic, Brød Bread and Pastry’s opening date was moved back a few times as there were challenges and wait times with renovations, but Karen and her team are excited to open at the start of October if everything goes as planned.
“I love doing business here and I’m not even open yet! I have people knocking at my door, asking to come in. There is a really supportive community of other business owners here in Blyth, they really brought us in and wanted to help us however they could. The vibrant and friendly community here is so different than what we’re used to in the city,” said Middleton.
Interested in being a part of the Starter Company Plus program? Click here for more information.
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