We had the good fortune of connecting with Tarra Pigg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tarra, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
We have always built our brand around being a part of the community. We want to be involved and support our community in anyway we can. We try to donate for charity auctions, fundraisers, and events for local schools, churches and charities whenever possible. We also offer a discount for our local first responders and military personnel. We also take treats to the local police and fire department and local hospitals to treats our hard working essential care workers. We love treating and supporting our community members. We try to be involved in local events and our community. We want to serve our neighbors and community, not only by offering delicious food, but by being a good neighbor and supportive friend. Another integral part of our community building that we have focused on from the beginning is supporting other local small businesses. From the beginning we had created a laid back networking group for local women business owners. The goal has always been to create a supportive and inclusive community for women to support each other. As a woman in business, I was finding that a lot of the mentors and people around me were men, you can still glean a lot of incredibly valuable information from successful men in the business world, but I feel like there are a lot of unique challenges that come with being a woman in the business world. Women face unique challenges like being a mom and a boss, and finding a work life balance to people not taking you seriously because you are a female, and a million things in between. I really struggled finding my place and voice as a female business owner in the beginning and I really wanted to create a support system that I just did not find present at the time. I wanted a more supportive-community feel when it came to the group rather than just a business, “What can you do for me?” type of attitude. I wanted to create a “How can I support you?” attitude instead. We look forward to resuming networking meet-ups and growing this community as much as possible in the future. As we moved into our own location this has evolved into showcasing local artist and handmade goods in our store. I am thrilled to be able to give local artists a space to showcase their work and amazing handmade items. All of our artwork on display and for sale is from local artists as well as 90% of our retail items. I love being able to support local artists, because I know how hard it can be to feel seen sometimes. In addition to purchasing and displaying items from local artists and artisans, we will be growing our community by offering Meet-The-Artist evenings and more to help showcase these wonderfully talented people as well. We collaborate with local businesses and source as much as we can from local businesses. We try to give shout outs and recognition to these guys as much as possible, because we know how hard it can be and we want them to know we see them.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I love the creativity that my job allows me. I love playing with new flavors and techniques. I think the variety of flavors that we offer and the unique combinations we offer sets us apart. A lot of people come to us for unique flavor combinations that they can’t find anywhere else. We scratch make all of our cakes and cupcakes, and that seems to be what we have become known for. We combine unique flavors in scratch made, fresh baked goodies, and the flavor and quality of our cake sets us apart. It is definitely a struggle to find your niche and what sets you apart, but I think if you are willing to listen to your customers and let it be a fluid creation, it becomes easier. I think most aspects of a business have to be fluid, ever-evolving creations. If you aren’t willing to evolve and change over time it makes it difficult to stay relative and grow as a business. I don’t think anything about owning a business is easy. I think it is all hard, but if it is what you are passionate about and what you love it is absolutely the most rewarding thing you will ever do. I know I am doing what I should be doing because even on the worst days, on the most challenging days, I still love what I do. There were times when I was working an additional job on top of running the bakery and I would literally be up 36+ hours straight. I would be up until 4am working on a cake, knowing that I was not going to get any sleep before jetting off to my other job, but still enjoying every moment of the cake that I was creating. If you love it, if you want it, if it is important to you – DO. NOT. GIVE. UP. It’s ok to take breaks and to step back for perspective and recharging when you need to. It’s ok to be uncertain and not know what to do next, but hang in there. I cannot tell you how many times during this journey that I have felt like giving up, when I wasn’t sure how to keep going, but I hung in there, because I knew that giving up was going to feel way worse than pushing through whatever challenges I was wading through. Every time that I have stuck in there and persevered God has blessed me with amazing things on the other end. You have to go into knowing that you don’t know everything and be willing to learn from other people and from whatever not so pleasant experiences you have to struggle through. If you are willing to learn and adapt, and you are sure about what you are doing and where your heart is, it will all be worth it in the end.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Colorado has so many amazing things to offer for such a diverse range of people. When visiting Colorado a trip to the mountains is always a must. I love exploring new places each time I go to the mountains. There are some amazing breweries around Colorado as well, I sometimes feel like breweries are taking over, but it’s great to have so many options. A few favorites are Factotum Brewhouse, Mother Tucker Brewery, and FlyteCo Brewing. I love a good local coffee shop to hang out in too – Navah Coffee House and Huckleberry Roasters are some favorite local hangs. I always enjoy tracking down local food trucks for unique and fresh bites like The Colorado Meat Pie Company, What Would Cheesus Do?, El Lechon, and Miss B’s Vietnamese Food Truck. I have a kiddo so I always love visiting the Denver Aquarium, Denver Zoo, and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I absolutely could not do what I do without my family. My family has been absolutely incredible from the very first time I ever even mentioned that I was thinking about making this giant leap. They have been my greatest cheerleaders and sounding boards, not to mention the hundreds of baked good they have lovingly devoured and critiqued for me. In addition to just being incredibly supportive and offering great advice they have worked the hours to help in the kitchen, help with wedding set ups, babysitting, cleaning and flipping our new space, doing the endless piles of dishes, waiting tables, and so many other billions of things. They’ve taught me how to cook and passed down recipes, they’ve taught me how to run a business and make hard choices. They’ve encouraged me to not give up, to keep going, to fight for my dreams. They’ve referred me and made introductions to hundreds of people. My parents have taught me an amazing work ethic, supported me emotionally and financially, have fixed, cleaned, run deliveries, baked, networked, pretty much will jump in and do anything I ask them to. My husband has lovingly acted as a taste tester, has made so many sacrifices for me to chase my dream, has gotten all of his buddies addicted to my cupcakes, and has always acted as a sounding board and shoulder to cry on on hard days. My Nana has helped me bake and clean and has taken care of my kiddo, and passed down recipes, and has always encouraged me to keep going. My Aunt has offered her kiddos as free labor (thanks cousins), literally gotten on her hands and knees to scrub the floors, and help flip my space. My sister/best friend has done amazing photos and marketing for me, as well as helping in the kitchen. My brother and his family got all of this craziness started and have continued to support me along the way. These are the people I absolutely could not exist without. They have done all this and so much more. I hands down would not be where I am without their love, support, and help. Thank you, thank you, thank you, times a million to them and all the other people who have helped along the way. I literally get overwhelmed sometimes when I think about how much love and dedication and support other people have put into this business over the years. I don’t even have to ask, and they never ask for recognition, but I owe them all everything.
Alexandra Schmitt Photography Hillary Shedd Photography Dani Haims Photography Truth Photography Jessica Cooke Photography Katie Fletcher Photography