Shanell Smith

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The Cookie and Crumb is an all-vegan, sometimes gluten-free, definitely delicious bakery! We specialize in vegan and/or gluten-free cookies, cakes and French Macarons. My business started three years ago. Initially, it wasn’t vegan or gluten-free, but it evolved into it and I’m so happy it did! It evolved into a vegan, sometimes gluten-free bakery when I couldn’t share my passion (which is baking with family, friends or customers) because they had a food allergy or because they had certain dietary choices. That didn’t make me feel good so I decided to change that. I took about a year off my business to test and make vegan and gluten-free recipes that I felt were just as good or even better than traditional cookies and cakes. I succeeded! My customers are those who want to eat vegan and/or gluten-free without sacrificing their health or flavor.

What drives you to be a business owner?

What drives me as a business owner is feeling good about providing something special to people! It may not seem like a lot but it’s the small things in life that make you feel special for people; that drives me and keeps me going.

How has the Entrepreneurship Center at WCC helped with your business goals?

The EC has helped me in so many ways, including research for my business as it’s a very particular segment and population. They also have inspired me to do more and go for more in my business! Just a few months ago, I won the [email protected] competition and it was great! The training sessions and information that I received while preparing for the pitch competition was priceless. Even if I hadn’t won, I knew that I had gained valuable information about business and, for that, I’m thankful!

If you could offer one piece of advice for fellow entrepreneurs or prospective entrepreneurs, what would it be?

One piece of advice that I would offer to fellow entrepreneurs is to embrace change. Change can be scary! I know that when you put your time and dedication into your business, thinking of even doing a small change is not something you may want to do or embrace because you feel so connected to what you are building as an entrepreneur. However, business is all about change and evolving. I’m not saying to change your business completely, but look at change as a positive thing and you will be amazed at how things can grow for you and your business!