February Small Business Feature: Sweet Botanical Bakes
Sweet Botanical Bakes is a Boston/Medford-based business owned and operated by one woman who combined her love for plants and cookies to make stunning shortbread cookies made with edible flowers. Sweet Botanical Bakes celebrates plants in new ways and 5% of all sales go back to our planet and local community!
Tell Us About Your Business:
Hi, my name is Lauren! Sweet Botanical Bakes is my little corner of the cookie kingdom- the sweet child of my love for plants and let’s face it, butter. SBB offers an array of shortbread cookies paired with edible flowers, microgreens and herbs. Following years of herbal studies, connecting with plants couldn’t be more natural for me. Pairing them with a cookie brings a smile to most faces and calls upon us to appreciate their beauty, as we have for centuries. SBB aspires to foster our curiosity about flowers and inspire action in order to preserve and protect our planet. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn more about plants and sustainability while connecting with others via a simple treat: the cookie.
How Did Your Business Get Started?
It started as a child through my mom and her geraniums and my dad as an independent sales rep. Like the moment you learn the meaning of a new word, then you hear and see it everywhere- an idea that’s always been there but needed a little attention to get started.
Preparing food and sharing with others has always been fulfilling, simply one of the deepest joys for me. As life has dramatically changed, I yearn for the intimate dinners with friends and the special excitement surrounding food at restaurants. As someone who identifies as an extroverted introvert, working alone at home with the dog did not suffice and I asked to work at a newly opened French Bakery down the street. It was an unexpectedly brilliant decision. Connecting with others (especially about food) felt paramount and the plans for SBB really took hold.
Tell Us About A Recent Accomplishment In Your Business:
As a business under one year old, it’s sort of an emotional rollercoaster. I’m either second guessing everything or making bold, educated decisions. After months of testing and recipe research, I learned how to press the edible flowers I’ve grown and researched sustainable sourcing for preservative-free, organically grown flowers and microgreens. Then I baked 1300 cookies in preparation for the SoWa Winter Festival 10 day event. SBB made its first market debut and every one of those cookies went into many loving hands within three days- it was absolutely wild!
Since there are many ways to measure the concept of accomplishment, I believe the bigger win here was connecting with countless strangers over plants and flowers. That’s really what I’m here for- community.
What Advice Do You Have For Someone In The Beginning States Of Owning A Business?
Don’t operate in a void. Get your thoughts out. Bounce them around, to lots of different people. Don’t be afraid to talk through ideas that aren’t complete. Fear is a killer. Ask for help and keep going until you find the answer. Don’t 'fake it till you make it'- I believe this can be quite dangerous in terms of serving yourself and others. There’s plenty of space and love for everyone, so collaborate with others as much as possible. Lastly, read read read. Educate yourself and be a lifelong student.
What Are Your Favorite Products or Services That You Currently Sell?
The Garden Party is by far the best seller! It’s a showstopper! Currently, I’m working on a special offering for the upcoming holiday: a deep red colored shortbread made with beet powder and hibiscus flower! It’s very balanced, not too sweet, and offers a tangy glaze- I’m thrilled to share it with everyone!
How do you give back as a small business?
It's really about spending more time with plants for me. I donate to One Tree Planted, Seed Savers Exchange, and United Plant Savers. I’m looking forward to volunteering time and energy to Groundwork Somerville this summer as well too! Here's to hoping these sweet treats inspire you to learn more about plants, get involved in saving the bees, composting, anything and everything!