“Let’s bake and deliver cakes!” That was their big, moneymaking idea, though neither Melissa nor Helen, two fresh-faced twenty-somethings, had ever baked a cake. Next up, they picked the location—Melissa’s rinky-dink condo kitchen. Then, they swiped three recipes from family and friends, put $250 into the company kitty, and made their first investment: 250 plastic cake knives with Piece of Cake stamped on them.
That was 1986.
A decade later, POC, The Ward, World Headquarters, or the Pokey—whichever moniker you prefer—was pulling in seven figures annually. Over three decades later, they have locations all over Atlanta, including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
I was a liberal-arts major. You won’t find my business philosophy being taught at Harvard Business School, onlineMBA.com, or any institution in between. But you will find it here.
This is a story of starting a company on pocket change, of working twenty-hour days with no days off in sight, of losing my home to sacks of sugar and flour and ovens galore. It’s a story about cakes cooling atop lampshades, about nervous breakdowns, wandering pot dealers, babies, puppies, Cakers and bakers. It’s a story about the original housewives of Atlanta (they were working for me!) and the homeless, too; it’s about a car called The Bomb, and a location called Pamland. Piece of Cake is a place where autonomy ruled and that was the only rule.
From Corporate America to cake batter, Piece of Cake: My Recipe for Success is a career manual for folks who know little about business, a cookbook for those who’d never thought about baking, and a what-are-you-waiting-for guide to pursuing your dreams.
Seriously, what are you waiting for?
This is the story of doing it my way