We had the good fortune of connecting with Cassandra Kronberg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cassandra, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
It started with a simple “Well, why not?” In 2020, Covid had left me without a job and extra time on my hands. I’m sure at least a few other new small businesses made their starts this way last year. I’d been in the food industry for ten years and had friends who ran small businesses but hadn’t really entertained the idea of ever having my own business. I had doodled empty storefronts with ideas of what could be in there but I hadn’t taken myself seriously with them. It honestly only took a week or so of thinking of the idea for it to really take hold. “An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.” -Buddah I sought advice from my small business friends and began researching all I could, testing recipes along the way. I knew I wanted to have fun and unique flavors , incorporating floral flavors, mixing the sweet and savory. More importantly using locally sourced ingredients as much as possible. Shopping at fellow small businesses for ingredients like Anna’s apothecary, Bread & Butter and Mountain Mamas. Using Colorado brands like Lily’s chocolate, Big B’s Juices, Alpine Start. Looking forward to working with local farmers for fresh fruits once the summer markets open back up this year as well.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
There are so many bakeries in Colorado Springs, go ahead and try typing it into google. And that’s just the brick n motors, the bakers who have their own store fronts or shops. That’s not including those who bake from commercial kitchens and definitely not including those who bake from home. Initially, this fact was a little daunting. There are also 677,000 people in Colorado Springs, all with different taste buds and different reasons for wanting baked goods. Lucky me. I’d say I’m not your average baker. I’m not big on frosting, more of a glaze, fruit and sprinkle type. I’m also not big on traditional cakes; crepe cake, angel food and shortcake are more my kind of cakes. I didn’t go to pastry school, though I’d like to one day. I’ve learned tricks through trial and error. Reading and building on what I already know. Floral touches whether in the baked good itself or as a topping are where the name “Blossom” comes from, that and my overall love for flowers. I love to mix sweet and savory flavors together to create unique and fun pairings. Like my Sweet Mary doughnuts, sweet potato based topped with marshmallow sauce, salt, pepper and rosemary. Or my Spring Cheesecake that has strawberries, basil, honey and a hint of lemon. Doughnuts, cinnamon rolls and oatmeal cream pies are my most popular treats. I really enjoy when I get the chance to add a little something extra to spruce up a dessert, like the mint leaves on my shortcake or rose petals on my pistachio rose doughnuts. I try to have Pop Ups at least once a month, give my customers a chance to come out and grab a box or for new faces to stumble up my table. Weekly pick up orders are the most popular so far; a weekly menu gets posted; boxes are pre ordered then orders are picked up at select drop locations. Holidays typically get a longer menu to choose from with larger ordering options to accompany it. I am trying to go totally dairy free, still a few kinks I am working on for that. I can also make most items gluten free. And have a select few vegan items. I’ve dropped samples off at a few cafes , excited to see where things may go. There are a few weddings and events in the books for summer 2021. Market season is around the corner but I will be waiting to dabble in that until spring 2022, give Blossom a little more time, see where things go for 2021.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
It’s a little crazy to realize that I have now lived in Colorado for almost 9 years. Seems like yesterday I had moved up from Las Vegas to live with my family. I didn’t start to explore too much until 2014, starting with the farmers markets. I’ve lived in Manitou Springs and explored a little in Castle Rock, Boulder and Denver. Here are a few of my favorite things… Hiking: Rocky Mountain National Park, the trails lead to a number of waterfalls and views that are breathtaking. Red Mountain Trail (and a few secret local trails) in Manitou Springs Food: There is always a rotation of food trucks in various spots around Colorado Springs. Bread & Butter regularly hosts a food truck. But for brick n motor food stops I’m all about the pizza. Slice 420 has great pies for a great purpose. Coffee: Kairos Coffee and Switchback Coffee Roasters- Colorado Springs Amethyst Coffee Co and Huckleberry Roasters- Denver Shopping: Eclectic CO/Eclectic OCC- numerous local artisan clothes, gifts, cards, jewelry Coralun Vintage- vintage finds and handmade jewelry Rick’s Garden Center- Plants and more plants, lovely walk-through outdoor selection area Westside Stories Book Store- from biographies to comics there’s a good read for everyone Plant Garage -Denver Sites Botanical Gardens -Denver
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
One of my very first known interactions with a small business in Colorado was at the Old Colorado City Market in Bancroft Park. Jenny and Sean who make up the dream confectionery team known as BonBon Bombardier. I met them around summer 2016, when they had first started out on their own journey after just moving to the Springs themselves. Almost six years later, their candies, caramels and chocolates are still a few of my favorite things. Meeting them formed my early views of small business and the farmers markets in town. When the markets are open, I try to go weekly and skip the grocery store. I confided in Jenny and asked her (still ask her) questions about navigating this small business world of sweets. Thanks to her friendship and support I was able to make more connections in the small business sect. and get a good start on networking. I would also like to shoutout Peri and Ani, owners of Eclectic Co and Eclectic OCC. They took a chance on letting me have my first pop up at their downtown location which led to more pop ups over this past year. I am so thankful for the community of small businesses I have come to meet and work with. In some ways, the year we were most distanced from one another was the year I met more people than I have in a long time. Whether that be in person at a pop up, an event or through new media connections. Colorado Springs Oversight is one of those new connections that came to be this year, we were able to partner together during December for “Give Back Boxes”. Blossom baked boxes of presset treats people were able to purchase and enjoy. Then all proceeds went to COS Oversight to help with the homeless in downtown Colorado Springs. Sleepy Turtle Coffee Co is one of those new connections that I wouldn’t have thought would be real just a few months ago. But thanks to Kirsti, owner of Sleepy Turtle, Blossom has made more connections and will be starting in on a new adventure this spring. Looking forward to everything the world has to offer Blossom. The most importan shout out is to my family. I may be a one- woman show up front, but let’s not forget who’s back behind the curtain and out in the crowd cheering me on. My boyfriend has been my biggest fan and supporter during this first year of business. He is constantly encouraging me to get out there “I’m proud of you . You’ll kill it today”. He’s also one of my taste testers. Our kids have even helped with getting strings and labels onto boxes and help hold the hand mixer. It’s something I’d like to keep in the family if the kids want to start helping more with someday. My parents and siblings as always, a constant source of encouragement, telling their coworkers and friends about Blossom with pride.