Written for The Argo by Hannah Cohen
On the week of October 16th, the businesswomen of Stockton University had the opportunity during Women Entrepreneurship Week to hear stories and advice from positive and hardworking business owners. The first event was held at the Atlantic City campus titled “Success through Sisterhood,” which focused on networking and growing their way to the top. The second event, which this article is focused on, had four panelists that rediscovered their passion for entrepreneurship and created a growing and successful food-based business. Their inspiring stories and advice provided a motivational push to women in business who are currently building a foundation for their future careers. These women showed that it is never too late to start and with effort and passion involved, there is nothing stopping anyone from succeeding.
The first panelist was Cindy Lakes, owner of Tripicians Macaroons on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. She started out her education at Stockton College with a Biology major and Chemistry minor, not very much relating to macaroons. She began working as a busser and eventually waitress at Smithville in Galloway which sparked her passion for the food industry. She then decided to buy out Tripicians Macaroons family business, and throughout the panel, Lakes stated, “It was my destiny because of the way things lined up” because she coincidentally was a family member of the business. In Lakes’s eyes, it was meant to be, and being the creative and self-motivated person she always was, working in the lab as an environmental chemist was beginning to not be enough for her. It was the same routine and she felt she was losing her passion. Since working at her current business she claims to be “always happy” and continues to give back and make a difference.
The next panelist was Jenna Kisbey, owner of Kizbee’s Kitchen, known for being the best and only gluten-free bakery in the area. She went to school for Psychology at Loyola University in Maryland and continued a career in this field for many years. Her passion for baking came about when she had to become gluten-free for personal reasons, so she decided to create her own recipes. Kisbey elaborated on how the gluten-free food available was nearly inedible and refused to accept the issue. She then began working at Renault Winery where she moved up from pastry assistant to pastry chef. While teaching and attending culinary school, Kisbey was still keeping up her business doing what she could to continue its growth. She went through debt and struggled to find the right connections starting out in a test food truck, but her gamble and risk brought her to the successful business she has today. She concluded her speech with this advice: “See a problem, figure out how to change it.”
Another success story was from Jen Morris, owner of Cupcakeology, the #1 online small business academy for baking. She pivoted her career from going to school for computers to working in real estate to finally returning back to her passion for baking. Morris claimed that she always had an entrepreneurial mindset. As a little girl, she would bake her own sweet treats to sell so she could buy her own snacks and toys. She started testing in her home kitchen without any business funding, so she had to market her personal story to promote business. Eventually, Morris knew when it was time to invest and expand her business to a real kitchen setting and continue growing.
Lastly was the 25-year-old panelist, owner of Lesbiveggies, Brennah Lambert. After graduating from the business management program at Rutgers Camden, Lambert claims to have goals to grow her business into a global franchise. Her business began as a meal prep service starting out of her grandmother’s plastic Tupperware. Lambert’s passion for her business began with a lifestyle and health change stemming from her desire to represent the LGBTQIA+ and black community in a positive light. Without any background working in the food industry, Lambert taught herself how to keep moving up in her business and provide the best ingredients and preparations. In only a year and six months, she has been featured in many articles.
These women all described how they started small and maintained their resilience to keep moving forward. The advice they gave was to not follow others, be observant, put yourself out there, and take every opportunity by the reins. The event concluded with an array of food and beverages for a networking hour with the business owners and audience.
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