Be Sweet Bakery
We met Tria Brown last year at an event for all the Chambers of Commerce in Brunswick County. I started talking to her after I saw her gorgeous cupcake display, and knew pretty quickly that she was someone we would want to feature in the magazine. I naturally went into interview mode, realized what I was doing after she graciously answered a few questions, and introduced myself properl
y. We love featuring businesspeople, especially young entrepreneurs who have big dreams. We are excited for Tria, and we can’t wait to see where her dreams, and her sweet treats, take her.
Tell us little about Be Sweet Bakery, how long have you been in business, and what do you offer?
Be Sweet Bakery is a certified in-home bakery located in Leland, and I am in my 4th year of business! I offer a variety of cakes, cupcakes, sweet breads, chocolate treats….let’s just say if it’s sweet I dabble in it, lol. I also create custom cake and cupcakes for all types of special occasion events.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into this business? Do you have a history of enjoying the kitchen in general and baking in particular?
Let’s start with the history. My mom was a wonderful cook and she would always make holidays and birthdays special. especially when it came to food. It was her love language. As a child I would stay up late with her as she would prepare those meals and one year she said “If you’re going to be in the kitchen you might as well help out.” She then handed me a box cake mix told me that if I learn to read and follow a recipe I’ll always be able to eat and I was now in charge of desserts. And that’s how I started baking. She would let me do whatever I want. And I loved it so much that as a teenager I would give co-workers homemade cake for their birthdays. As an adult, my potluck go-to would be dessert, usually a Sprite pound cake. Friends would often tell me I should sell them. In November of 2019, I felt God pressing me to do so and so I nervously posted that I was taking orders for Thanksgiving. I honestly didn’t think I would get that many but I ended up with like 12 orders! And to my surprise, I was still getting orders between the holidays and even afterwards.
Your kitchen is inspected by the county health department. What is that experience like? What have been the challenges with a commercial kitchen in your house?
I’m certified through the NC Food & Agriculture Department, and it was actually easier than I thought it would be. A few standard documents, sample label and my menu were submitted along with the application. The hardest part was coordinating a time for the inspector to come out. When it comes to having a certified kitchen in the house, with my family, the challenge has been creating and understanding boundaries. I have a background as a surgical technologist so I approach my work area as a surgical field and can become aggressively territorial when or if they have to enter the kitchen when I’m working. We have come to a mutual understanding and now that I’m am full time in my business, I’m able to work while they’re gone.
You offer a variety of treats. Do most people have a firm idea what they want, or do you do a lot of walking customers through a process of choosing?
With standard items it’s more of a question of quantity. For the custom orders it’s a mixed bag. Most people have a theme or color scheme as a starting point. From there we’ll go through serving size, flavor(s), and then we nail down a design, and all of this can generally be done through phone calls and messages, or through cake consultation/tasting. Then there are those who know exactly what they want. It’s such sweet surprise when people send me my own designs as their inspiration. But whether it’s something I have created or they found online I always tell them it will be as close of a recreation but never an exact replica.
What is you favorite treat to make? What is the most challenging?
That’s a hard one! I love putting together Sweetheart Boxes, which are gift boxes that include a mixture of treats and roses, candles etc. But if we’re just talking just desserts I would say pound cakes are my favorite, followed by cookies and sweet breads. The custom/event cakes are the most challenging. For one, they are usually for a big celebration and I take that trust very seriously. And they can have many detailed parts that have to be planned and executed.
How about to eat, if that’s different?
I love chocolate and peanut butter. I have my own jar and bag of chocolate chips that is usually my “snack” or treat and I enjoy a good cookie. There’s not many desserts that I don’t like. I just to really don’t eat much else in the sweet department.
What makes a great occasion to order treats from Be Sweet?
EVERY occasion is a great occasion!
With Valentine’s Day coming up, do you have any ideas how you could help make the day extra special for someone?
A Be Sweet Bakery Sweetheart Box, in my opinion, is always a great way to hit all of the romantic highlights of flowers, sweet treats and bubbly. I also offer boxes that are strictly just treats that can include one type or a a mix of treats including, cookies, brownies, cake-sicles, cupcakes, or chocolate covered berries
What are your future plans for Be Sweet Bakery?
I would love to be able to start selling to local restaurants and coffee shops and eventually open a storefront in Leland and or in Wilmington. I also would love to be able to share all of this wonderful creativity with other bakers that are growing in this field.
Please feel free to add anything you’d like to share.
I’m truly humbled at this gift that God has given me. To be self taught can often bring such doubt of if I am good enough, but He constantly keeps showing me that through Him all things are possible.
Be Sweet Bakery