After tiring of her drama-filled PR job in England, Lisa Sanguedolce decided to give baking a shot! Having no baking (or even cooking!) experience, her delicious desserts quickly snowballed into full-time business Le Dolci, where she now holds classes and private parties in today’s YEDaily…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
My business is all about fun, food education. We teach people how to make and decorate delicious treats like Parisian macarons, cupcakes, cake pops, mini fondant wedding cakes and host foodie trips to my favourite destinations in the world. We host birthday, bachelorette and corporate events including our signature Iron Cupcake Challenge. We just launched our first foodie trips to Paris where our customers will have a week of hands on classes making croissants, baguettes, macarons and eclairs.
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
Working in PR in London, England, I had several Devil Wears Prada crazy type bosses and after ten years decided I had enough of the dramas and it was time to work for myself. A friend was getting married so I volunteered to make her wedding cake – to her dismay; with no prior experience in baking or even cooking for that matter, she was pleasantly surprised at the result! It somehow snowballed from there into London’s only weekly cake club, then classes in Notting Hill and now a full time biz here in Toronto.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is meeting students from around the world and seeing them smile and create beautiful and edible creations. They all leave saying they had so much fun, which I never tire of hearing. The most challenging part is trying to be all things at once, I want to meet each customer, teach as many classes as possible, do new biz development and reply to every email with a personal touch but it is sometimes very difficult (I am writing this at 11pm at night!).
Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
A studio in NYC, Oakville & Montreal and foodie trips to Singapore, Italy and England.
What does success look like to you?
Happy staff and happy customers and a product that stays true to its original form. I cater to customers looking for quality, taste & a memorable experience; I never want to resort to a non-natural cupcake base or replace butter with something cheaper.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Being recognised on the street as ‘the cupcake lady’
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Work hard, don’t give up and put a great group of people around you; especially those that make you smile everyday. I am truly lucky to have an amazing team of teachers and staff.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I lost my father to cancer when I was 18 so cancer charities always turn me into a softie. I spent a bit of time in Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa visiting family and friends and the exposure to how children’s lives there compare to those of the kids in Canada, makes me feel like we need to do more. Starfish & The Nzirambi Education Fund are both doing great stuff for kids in Africa.
What is Notable to you?
Honesty, a zest for life and passion.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Blackberry and an iPod Touch.
How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
Yoga, pilates, hauling 20kg bags of flour and chasing after kids in class.