December 1, 2020
Donut Duo Helps Glam Up Bakery’s Business Model
Jessamine Daly-Griffen opened Om Nohm Bakery & Café in 2017 out of necessity, with two of her three children diagnosed with celiac disease and few local resources to meet their dietary needs. While Om Nohm Bakery & Café was a haven for those needing to eat gluten-free, the bakery had a hard time attracting customers without food restrictions and running the bakery efficiently and profitably. Insert Arwyn Birch & Teresa Fox, the co-owners of renowned Glam Doll Donuts, based in Minneapolis. Here’s the advice they gave to Season 5’s Om Nohm Bakery & Café:
1) It’s okay—and expected—to pay yourself as a small business owner.
Jessamine, a former teacher, is passionate about “working for a purpose,” but so far that’s meant not drawing a salary from her business. With hired help in the bakery and her own mother frequently stepping in to help, Jessamine has prioritized paying her team before herself. However, Arwyn and Teresa helped her realize that a more sustainable business model can help her drive a salary (and that making money is not in conflict with Jessamine’s mission, it will actually help enable her mission). The duo explored multiple ways to streamline Jessamine’s business model, like driving a new source of revenue through a wholesale channel.
2) Offer the same unique experience online as you do in-store.
The effort to overhaul Om Nohm’s operations was intercepted by a global pandemic, which meant that customers could no longer experience the warm, welcoming space the bakery traditionally offered. With business shifting to takeout only in New York, Arwyn and Theresa emphasized the importance of creating a great experience for customers, even when they can’t interact with you in person. This included everything from better aligning the online presence with the in-restaurant experience, to quickly updating the bakery’s website to allow customers to shop online (something the experts from Deluxe helped with). And, Jessamine’s new website now offers resources to help educate customers about the intricacies of gluten allergies and intolerances.
3) Make your existing space work harder for you.
The pandemic has caused a shift to pre-ordering takeout, which will likely remain unchanged for some time to come. So, Teresa and Arwyn recommended Jessamine dedicate a “takeout” space inside the bakery for efficient prep and pickup. Knowing that in-restaurant dining will eventually return, renovation icon Ty Pennington also helped redesign and expand Om Nohm to offer more seating for customers (and a more efficient, larger space for baking). Plus, Jessamine was able to add outdoor seating for patrons during warmer months, further increasing her capacity.
4) Make it easy for customers to order.
Jessamine traditionally handwrote her ever-changing menu on post-it notes for customers to read. And while this was part of Om Nohm’s charm, it often made it hard for customers to know where to focus when ordering. Jessamine worked with Theresa, Arwyn and the team from Deluxe to create a more streamlined counter experience, with a large menu hanging above the order counter and a cleaner approach to her bakery display cases.
Jessamine’s goal has always been to create an inclusive, welcoming space for all people. Watch Om Nohm’s full transformation in Season 5, episode 5 of the Small Business Revolution.