Hartford-Based Startup Bakery is Blooming
Creative entrepreneur and passionate baker Monica Beaudoin started Bloom Bake Shop in 2020. Her sister, Alexandra Pilon, and father, Rich Beaudoin, joined the company in 2021. MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price met with the family to learn more about launching a business in the Hartford Region.
NAN PRICE: How, when, and why did you develop the concept for Bloom Bake Shop?
MONICA BEAUDOIN: Bloom Bake Shop launched September 1, 2020, at our first farmer’s market. It was a great way to get out in the community in a way that was still open and accessible. We were well received in the community and about six months into the business, we were really starting to grow. So, I reached out to my sister and my dad to help me grow the business. They joined in June of 2021, which was perfect timing because my dad had just retired.
NAN: Tell us about some of the connections to resources you’ve made here in the Hartford Region.
ALEX PILON: We’re fortunate to be based here in Hartford and connected with so many great resources, like reSET. We were lucky to have been accepted into the new reSET Retail Incubator. We’re hoping to keep learning more about retail and growing our business.
We participate in the West End Farmers’ Market on Tuesdays and the Forge City Works’ Farmers Market on Broad Street on Thursdays. We’re also a part of the KNOW GOOD Market events on Pratt Street and at the Hog River Brewing Company.
NAN: How did you become connected with the Swift Factory?
RICH BEUDOIN: As the farmers’ market base grew, the custom orders grew, the wedding cake requirements grew, and we evolved, we needed to look for another place. We heard about the Swift Factory through word of mouth at a farmers’ market in Hartford.
Since we’ve moved to the Swift Factory, we’ve been able to grow the business by having a year-long lease and 24/7 access to our own private kitchen. So, capacity was driving the need to evolve into this stage here, but we’ve been here about a year and we’re already outgrowing the space.
NAN: Is your long-term goal to have your own brick-and-mortar location?
ALEX: Yes. We’re working really hard toward that goal. We hope to have a space within the next six months or so. We would love to stay here in Hartford. One benefit of joining the Hartford Chamber of Commerce is that we’ve been having great conversations with the leadership there about some of the vacant storefronts downtown.
We’re also looking to continue to grow the catering side of our business. As people start to return to the office, we hope they’ll think of us when they want to bring in breakfast pastries or cookies for meetings or other occasions.
MONICA: Once we have the storefront, our plan is to have the bakery, the floral unit, and offer some type of breakfast and lunch in a café environment. It’ll be a beautiful bakery café and flower bar where we’ll sell local goods that are true to our vision. We want to keep our core farmers’ market connections with small businesses and incorporate our community in the café.