Please let me introduce FOJ(Friend of Jewel) Lori Karmel, owner of Fort Lauderdale's We Take the Cake. Lori was among the first people that I met when I moved to Fort Lauderdale, and I like to say that I met her BO (Before Oprah). You see, We Take the Cake's Key Lime bundt cake was featured as one of Oprah's favorite things in 2004. The endorsement revitalized her business and she's still riding the wave. Let me introduce you to the woman behind it all.
Lori's family moved to South Florida from Toronto in 2000. Her son was a toddler and she was a full time mother. She found We Take the Cake while searching through the yellow pages for a birthday cake for him. She was intrigued by their chocolate cream cheese frosting. Once her son started school, she started looking for a business to get into, found that We Take the Cake was up for sale, bought it, and the rest is history.
Her biggest challenge day to day is balancing staffing with production, since it's all custom. Her goal is to produce a premium, quality product, in and out, and that can be hard to do consistently. But Lori seems to be getting it right!
Her family and friends are her biggest supporters, her husband even came aboard to take care of the operations aspect, allowing Lori to concentrate on what she does best--sales and marketing. She absolutely loves getting notes and letters back from satisfied clients. She thinks that it's the most rewarding part of her business.
But it wasn't always easy. She was motivated by a book written by Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks. It described his extraordinary journey that took the company from his initial vision to the overwhelming success that it is today. She advises anyone looking to start up a new business that the most important part is marketing--
"Don't sit around waiting for business to come to you. Think outside the box to bring new business in. Forget about traditional advertising."
She's working on some new things for We Take the Cake. She's always looking to create new products. Client suggestions help drive new designs, flavors, and product offerings. In fact, she now has brownies on the menu, after landing a deal with the new W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. She promises that the new Red Wine Reduction brownies will be a rich and fudgy hit! I can't wait to try them! You can contact Lori via email at email@example.com or by phone at 888-901-2253.