I am Lewis Learoyd, and I am a student on the enterprise placement pathway launch my business, Pastry Puffs. This placement scheme has provided me the financial support and mentorship I have needed to launch my business over the last year. My business, Pastry Puffs, is a vegan baking community that gives customers the dry ingredients and mentorship required to achieve their baking goals.
Business Model Pivot
May has been a pivotal month for Pastry Puffs with the launch of the company to customers along with our first products reaching the market. I began the month with the task of developing a vegan macaron recipe, a task that took 3 days and 9 iterations of tinkering to perfect. This recipe was a frustrating one to simplify to ensure our customers success as well as altering to vegan baking methods however, the final product I believe was well worth the effort and cost to develop.
Marketing and Promotion
Once I had nailed down the recipe the need to market the product and create hype arose. This began with taking product photos, a task I initially felt out of depth with but after some YouTube tutorials and trial and error I felt happy with the photos I was taking. Once the photos were sorted, I began making social posts and adverts to build interest and communicate our brand, this is a job I feel I accomplished well with a total reach of over 22,000 users across our socials so far this month.
Setting Up The Store
In the meantime, I needed somewhere to send these social media users to, this I decided would be an online store. This was the most technically challenging task of the month as I tried to employ my limited knowledge of web development and design to creating the most professional webstore possible. The finished result I was beyond surprised with, after about 40 hours of learning and developing I had created a functional and aesthetic website that allowed customers to have a simple and easy shopping experience.
Learning New Design Skills
Another new skill I needed to acquire was graphic design, this was because of the need for professional menu cards to include in our recipe boxes. Artistic endeavours have always evaded me due to my lack natural talent however, after a crash course on the adobe suite and Canva I felt confident enough to create these recipe cards. The finished product I manged to make look professional using a simple design language and consistent colour pallet and I was finished with a product I was happy with.
Student Enterprise Awards
Other than launching this side of the company I had some other events take place, the most exciting of which was being asked to host a stall at the student enterprise end of year awards as well as being nominated for the social impact award at this event.
This event posed a great opportunity to network with fellow entrepreneurs and members of the student enterprise community as well as celebrating the great achievements of student entrepreneurs over the last year. I was fortunate enough to win the social impact award, this award meant so much to me as my confidence in running this business has always been shaky but being recognised for the effort, I’ve been putting in really improved this confidence.
Coming Next For Pastry Puffs
Looking forward to June I will be launching a vegan brownie recipe, furthering my reach across social medias as well as developing a not yet decided upon recipe. I hope to grow my customer base across this month and create a solid base of return custom in order to improve profitability and generally improve cash flow.
Thank you for reading my May blog and I hope this has given you a good insight into my experiences on the enterprise placement pathway, good luck with exams and graduations this month. For more regular updates on my progress you can follow me on Instagram @pastry__puffs.