Cheryl Keith opened Berry Delicious Bakery in May of 2009 as a retail bakery, operating out of leased space in the Plymouth Commerce Park on Tenney Mountain Highway in Plymouth, NH. She focused on providing fresh, high quality baked goods, but also offered lunch items such as sandwiches and frozen entrees.
Six months later, Cheryl started getting numerous requests for gluten-free baked goods. Eventually she developed and began offering a gluten-free line at the bakery as well as wholesale distribution. The line was so successful that the bakery changed over to gluten-free products only.
Berry Delicious Bakery currently offers more than twenty gluten-free products, including sandwich breads, muffins, fruit breads, brownies, cookies, fruit pies, and pizza crust. They sell primarily to a variety of wholesale accounts including A-Market Natural Foods Store in Manchester, NH; Concord Food Coop in Concord, NH; Fiddlehead Farms in Alton Bay and Dover, NH; Littleton Food Coop; Philbrick’s Fresh Market, Portsmouth and North Hampton, NH Portsmouth Health Food, Portsmouth, NH and Peppercorn Natural Foods in Plymouth, NH. Her most recent customer is Nature’s Green Grocer in Peterborough, which will open another store soon in Nashua.
One year ago, Cheryl was planning to expand her wholesale distribution with a marketing strategy that included direct sales calls as well as newspapers, social media, and the bakery website. She did not have any employees at that time and was relying on help from her son and husband to do all the baking, marketing and deliveries. It was time for her to expand operations.
In March of 2011 Cheryl secured financing from Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) to buy equipment for her growing business, plus working capital to purchase inventory in bulk. This has allowed her to take advantage of bulk discounts to make the transition from a traditional bakery and retail operation to a gluten-free retail and wholesale operation. NCIC also provided marketing consultation to assist Cheryl in developing strategies for targeted sales calls as well as traditional marketing tactics.
Cheryl’s business continues to grow and she is purchasing a new pizza press, pizza oven and other kitchen equipment.
“I cannot say enough about how the people at NCIC have helped me,” said Cheryl. “It has been indescribable. They took the time to really get to know and understand my business, and guided me in creating a business plan and marketing strategy that I am 100% confident will lead me to my long term goals.”
Cheryl also received technical financial assistance from NCIC and from Stewart Gates of the Small Business Development Center. She says her numbers are up from last year, which will enable her to hire another full-time employee and to do more sales and marketing. NCIC’s Business Resource Management approach empowered Cheryl to clarify her vision and plan for the Berry Delicious Bakery and sees it growing into a healthy and successful business.
To learn more about Berry Delicious Bakery, visit their website.