When founder, Susan Sarich had the idea for the highly successful bakery, Susie Cakes, she was turned down again and again after nobody believed in her idea as much as she did. Initially, her business plan of having pure and simple ingredients for baked goods put together in a stylish and tasty way didn’t seem to attract anyone. With the support of only her family and friends, Sarich continued to strive for her goal, and today Susie Cakes is one of the most well-known bakeries in the LA area. Right now, the company is preparing for their busiest time of the year where they will make large quantities of pies, cakes and other assorted treats for the holidays that will be enjoyed by loving families across the city.
Sarich got her start at Cornell School of Hospitality, which was a difficult journey since she commonly found herself reporting to men. However, she didn’t let that get to her because she always knew she wanted to go into food service and find her own unique brand.
“I noticed that most women would leave the business around the age of thirty because it’s hard to start a family or at least get a date on a Friday night if you’re working in the foodservice,” she said. Sarich was determined to challenge this gender barrier with her brand and create a team of support workers who could still have a family and spend the holidays with loved ones while working. Another key part of her business plan was refocusing her love for dessert with simple and natural ingredients everyone can find in their pantry.
“Wow, nobody really knows what a good, old-fashioned brownie or chocolate chip cookies taste like anymore,” Sarich said, “What if I took my Grandmas’ recipes and created a brand where we don’t work late hours, we take holidays off…..and create something where women are excited to come and work.” After lots of dedication and determination, Sarich pulled it off and started Susie Cakes, a neighborhood bakeshop that makes everything from scratch. Today, Sarich is a true businesswoman whose company is widely popular. She is proud to say that women make up 85% of their staff which has allowed her to follow through on her business plan. Susie Cakes has been represented throughout the media at countless differing celebrations.
“If you see Selena Gomez, Demi Levato, Jesica Simpson, or any celebrity when they Instagram their birthdays it’s always the Susie blue celebration cake,” Sarich said, “It’s become the cake we are most well known for….our mission is around celebration, and that cake speaks to it.”
People come from out of town just for that unique confetti cake with the special Susie colored frosting, but that’s just one of many treats that Susie cake’s sell. Despite cake being their namesake, the business’ most popular time of the year is Thanksgiving when they sell apple, pecan and pumpkin pies. The pies must be pre-ordered and most people buy at least two. This big rush also happens around Christmas, however, Susie Cakes is closed the day of Christmas and the days after in order to give employees some much-needed family time around the holidays.
It’s been 14 years since Susan Sarich started Susie Cakes, but Susie Cakes’ journey is only just beginning and will continue to grow.
“My two favorite things to do are to open new locations to bring more Susie Cakes to more people,” Sarich said, “…and promoting people. The more stores I open and the bigger the company gets, the more opportunities there are for people”
Some employees have worked at Susie Cakes for over 10 years and had progressing careers in the foodservice because of Susie Cakes. The business has almost 24 locations throughout California and in Texas. Despite their success, they still are a neighborhood bakery at their core, that puts hard work into every treat.