We had the good fortune of connecting with Ana Fanakra and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ana, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I moved to America in 1999, right after graduating High School. In all the years I’ve lived here I’ve always searched for somewhere to purchase Norwegian style baked goods, but without any success. During this time I’ve made these things for family and friends, and perfected my recipes over the years. When Covid-19 hit I was working for a local entertainment security company as an HR Generalist, a position that was newly created. As so many others I was furloughed 50% at first, and then later laid off due to the event industry not having returned as of yet. I decided when I was first furloughed that I needed to do something that would add value to my life, and would help secure my family’s future, and felt inspired to start a Norwegian Style Bakery to serve others like me who have been searching for somewhere local to purchase this type of baked goods.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started my professional career with a local Appliance Company called A&K Appliance Service, Inc. I was originally hired on as a part time administrative help, but over time took on more and more challenges and worked my way into the role of Service Manager, Assistant Office Manager, and Assistant HR Manager. It was with A&K Appliance where I learned to turn my passion for helping people into a career choice and started seeking more opportunities within the aspect of HR. I moved on to another company where I worked as the HR Manager and really got to learn a lot about how to liaise between employees and upper management. Ultimately that position led me to Argus Event Staffing and the position of HR Generalist. My experience within the HR field has taught me how I would like to run a company, and how/who I will be as a boss. I am exited to build upon my previous experience to create a work environment where people will thrive and grow. The success of a business depends on the dedication and engagement the employees have, and this is something I will never lose sight of.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was visiting, I would definitely start with a quiet evening in, so we can catch up and just be goofy together. Next on the agenda would definitely be to visit the Manitou Incline, with a stop for some food in Manitou after. I would also take them to Dinosaur Ridge because it’s just such a fun place to visit. I’m also a huge fan of Ikea, so that would definitely be on the list of things to do. Mostly, though, we would just hang out and talk. What we would plan to do would be much less important than just hanging out with each other.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would not have been able to start this journey without my partner in crime, Skylar Gambill. He pushed me when I was hesitant, and supported my decision from the beginning. He has been instrumental in getting this bakery off the ground, and I am incredibly thankful for that. It makes a difference when you have a supportive partner. He has helped in every aspect of the business, and as we work to grow and scale the business he is an integral part of that process.
Troll Logo Credit: Artwork by Ariane