Wed. Jan 19th, 2022
colerain bakery
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Colerain bakery, Simply Scrumptious 252, started in 2014. It did well, with steady orders for custom cakes most weekends. But it was not until head pastry chef and owner Rhonda Cooper suffered a devastating job loss that she fulfilled her dream of turning baking into her full-time income.

The transition from side hustle to a successful full-time income might have taken time and perseverance, but Cooper knew her dream was worth the fight.

Cooper, a Bertie High School 1998 graduate, lived in Hertford County when she started the business. She found herself without a job and needed to earn an income. She brainstormed several business ideas, tried selling some products, and kept coming back to baking.

One hurdle to clear–she had no formal cake decorating training. She knew how to bake cakes and cookies, had the determination to learn, and her faith.

She prayed to God, asking him to reveal whether baking would be her path and guide her hands as she learned cake decorating techniques.

Cooper Perfected Her Skills Over Several Years Before Opening Her Colerain Bakery

Cooper is a self-taught baker and cake decorator. She watched many hours of how-to videos on YouTube and duplicated beautiful baked goods she admired on Pinterest.

Before long, she started selling her goodies, each one made with special care and much love.

Besides baking, Cooper also found full-time employment as she grew her fledgling business. Although it became a “side income,” she still hoped to bake full time one day. So she continued to grow her business, baking every order with love and developing a base of satisfied clients.

That “one day” came in the early spring of 2021. That was when her employer, Geo Group, lost their federal government funding and closed their facility. Living back home in Bertie County at that time, Cooper’s husband Kenneth surprised her by purchasing a 12×24 building.

It was time for Cooper’s perseverance and over six years of small but steady business growth to pay off.

I wanted to be my own boss–not at risk ever again of being told I don’t have a job or control of my own future.

Rhonda Cooper, pastry chef and owner of Simply Scrumptious 252

They spent the hot summer months of 2021 outfitting the commercial kitchen. The Colerain bakery held its grand opening on August 23rd after passing its Bertie County building inspections and receiving the stringent certification of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

More About Simply Scrumptious 252

Today, Simply Scrumptious 252 bustles with business, especially on the weekends. Although she does not have a retail storefront, Cooper fulfills custom orders every week. She bakes cakes for birthday parties, graduations, retirements, and showers. Besides being able to fulfill more orders per week, the larger commercial space allowed Cooper to expand into the wedding cake business.

Additionally, she bakes scratch cheesecakes topped with decadent toppings like strawberries, blueberries, funfetti, and apple pie filling. If those sound good, you can enjoy a slice of her cheesecake at Cafe 45 in Colerain.

A savvy businesswoman, Cooper increases sales orders by offering add-on treats like cupcakes, dipped chocolate treats (white, milk, or dark chocolate), cupcakes, and cookies.

Most recently, the Colerain bakery added dog treats to the menu.

Cooper looks back at the journey from baking as a part-time side job to her expansion to full-time success and knows she is exactly where God wants her to be. She hopes to expand the business and become a household brand as she enjoys continued success. With the innate perseverance in her heart, there might be no stopping her from doing just that.

To learn more about the new Colerain bakery or place an order, follow them on Facebook or call Rhonda Cooper at 252.209.8068.

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