As a kid, Mindy Sepeti watched her mom bake cakes and pies in the kitchen. During the holidays, she couldn’t wait for her mom to bake a batch of sugar cookies, so they could decorate them together. These moments were ingrained in her memory, but it took her a while to realize they didn’t have to remain in the past.
Life Leads to a Sweet Path
Sepeti attended The University of Texas at Austin to study elementary education and theater, but realized her interest for both was dwindling. Baking became her foremost passion, and she decided to leave her studies and wait tables instead.
While she waited tables, she started to bake for her coworkers. Eventually, one of her managers suggested she attend pastry school. A lightbulb went off in Sepeti’s head and she immediately enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu’s Patisserie and Baking program in Austin. Since then, she’s worked at various restaurants and hotels in the area, including Jeffrey’s, Horseshoe Bay Resort, and Westwood Country Club.
Although she loved making pastries in the professional kitchen, she found herself making more product on the side. She’d place ads on Craigslist and bake for various friends, whether for birthday parties or other special occasions.
Growing up with parents who were both self-employed, Sepeti credits her tenacity and motivated self-starter attitude to them. She realized she wanted to start her own baking business.
During her time in kitchens, she met and fell in love with her husband, Ken Sepeti. The two both have culinary backgrounds and now make up the great team behind Mindy’s Bakeshop.
Small Business Struggles and Savvy
“When you buy from a small business, you’re literally giving them life,” Sepeti stressed while talking about the struggle of being the head of her own business. She and her husband put in hours upon hours of recipe-testing in their kitchen, in order to bring the best products to their clients.
She continued to explain the behind-the-scenes process:
“The whole process is customized to you. For instance, our decorated cookies are made from scratch: hand-rolled, baked, and individually and intricately decorated to fit your exact needs and specifications. Each cookie can take anywhere from five to 15 minutes each just for the decorating alone, and in order for us to make ends meet, we have to account for all that time in our pricing. This is a craft that we have spent years honing and practicing, and I think it’s important as a small business owner to know the value of the service you provide.”
Mindy’s Bakeshop Future Plans
Not only does Mindy’s Bakeshop offer customized cookies and cakes, but they also offer cookie decorating workshops (which make a fun team-building activity) and want to delve into the wonderful world of wedding cakes.
The holidays have been quite a busy time for them, but they wouldn’t have it any other way. The heart of Austin has always gone pitter-pat for small businesses. Mindy’s Bakeshop proves that with passion and determination, it’s possible to love what you do.
For more information or to contact Mindy’s Bakeshop, visit mindysbakeshopaustin.com.
@theAustinot wants to know:
What is your dream custom cake?