Exciting news! Our next guest on the show is Simone Bridges, an award-winning celebrity chef, author, speaker, and high school senior!
Simone is the founder of Goddess Food Factory, where she puts her unique spin on traditional desserts. Not only is she a talented chef, but she’s also passionate about increasing STREAM education (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) through her work and events.
Simone is dedicated to serving her community by providing education on culinary basics, STREAM, and kidpreneurship.
Join us to hear Simone share her journey in building a business while balancing schoolwork and preparing for college applications!
To learn more, please click https://www.goddessfoodfactory.com/
As always, this podcast is brought to you by Profit Master Business Solutions, implementing measured marketing for small businesses while calming the chaos and creating the confidence and competence to exceed expectations.
Welcome to Small Business Marketing – Then And Now, a conversation with small business owners on how they marketed the launch of their business the evolution since then and how they have pivoted during this COVID-19. Brought to you by Profit Master Business Solutions more leads more sales and more revenue for your smaller medium sized business click findnewrevenue.com to learn more now here’s your host Howard Wolpoff
Welcome back to Small Business Marketing – Then And Now I’m Howard Wolpoff your host again this is brought to you by Profit Master Business Solutions and today is going to be a very interesting conversation it’s going to make you think that you absolutely underachieved in in high school and started your career way too late because our guest today is someone that started their business at I believe the age of 11 and it has been an unbelievable journey for her as she’s grown into a young woman and really grown her business in different ways and the more remarkably the different ways that she is reaching out and making a difference within community through education through cooking through just being able to tell her story and it’s quite a story we’re joking she’s a senior in high school right now that that she for the most part has her essays for college written for her from her experiences she’s not going to have a lack of topic to talk about based on the type that she’s already had at this young age and her name is Simone Bridges her business is Goddess Food Factory and Simone welcome to our conversation .
today hi thank you for having me
well thank you for joining us I’m very excited to learn a lot more about you really have had quite an experience in the business world growing up at the same time and going to middle school and high school at the same time it really is first of all phenomenal have you’ve been able to stretch your hours and calendars so much to accomplish so much because high school does take up a lot of time in addition to extracurricular activities and then being in a business and really touching people’s lives so let’s really start and get an understanding of why did you feel that you were old enough and ready to start a business and give us that spark of what you were you were beginning at that time
well my mom always told me to start doing whatever I felt like I wanted to do as far as my dream goal or my dream job and I was always in the kitchen making something new because ever since I was three years old I’ve been baking with my granny so anytime that I got that my dad wasn’t on the stove cooking get up or my sister wasn’t I was in the kitchen baking and when that kitchen was smelling like sugary goodness my mom knew OK she got something going on she’s baking it up we have to start her somewhere so the business side of my mom the entrepreneur side of my mom said OK you can start your own business we can sell all of your treats and really from there we just started thinking of different ideas I thought about the name Goddess Food Factory and because I was thinking long term so when I get older I want to have my own restaurant with my sister and I want to have a factory in the back so kids can be able to tour this stuff so I was thinking long term my smart break so I just came up with that clever name goddess food factory and from there we thought about extreme baking boxes we thought about a clothing line we thought about starting meeting nonprofit where I can give back to the community and be able to have opportunities to have other kids that want to be able to have their own business get inspired when I either go out and do my workshops or go out speaking to them anything or give back to them give them back to school items I’ve done a lot of different things so really just comes from my dream team my mom is my inspiration she’s a wonderful business owner and then everybody around me you know just encourages me to keep going and different ideas come up all the time you know I it’s never a time where I don’t think of different treats that I can bake in different recipes that I can come up with for my customers to try so I’ve just been having a lot of things up my sleeve
well you definitely have and obviously selling treats and creating revenue from baking has been one of them throughout the course of time but you definitely evolved and found different ways to interact with people and especially kids to bring education into the mix and make that a focal point of how you’re interacting with them and how they can learn different types of lessons just through baking so how did that come about?
so I’m not going to take 100% of the credit because nobody ever accomplishes everything by themselves it’s always somebody helping them out always somebody that could help improve it’s like a scientist experiment is the scientist that tries a new study and then you have other scientists to do different trials on the study over and over again to see if we can improve this this theory or law you know it always is improved so that’s kind of how I roll like I might come up with an idea and then my mom asked them to it and we make it better and better and better and better so that’s kind of how we roll you know she came she thought it was thinking about a way that we can teach kids to learn but do it in an interactive way and I know that I always love to bake a lot of anytime I have sleepovers too me and my friends speak it in the kitchen we start making something cool and out of this world because we’re just hungry look we’re young I started off when I was 11 like you mentioned before work so we were young my mom is not a chef she is not the type of person that gets in the kitchen and cooks it’s usually my dad or my sister and most of the time my sister was either out with her friends and my dad drives trucks so he’s out pretty often so all the cooking just passed down to me I was really making the food and my mom was buying the ingredients and I was cooking up in the kitchen making something new so even when my friends would come over we would bake something new we would make some different type of meal and I see that they enjoyed it so I know OK I’m not just the only person that likes making different things trying to do different things so I need that baking would definitely be an interactive thing to do so I knew we had to do a baking box where my mom was like OK and he said be some type of education in it because she’s just been a teacher for years so she’s all about learning and education and I love school so I’ve been all about that too so we said OK why not put it inside of the baking box as well why not making an educational fun baking box so I know that a lot of people do STEM which is science technology engineering and mathematics but I couldn’t forget about reading and the arts because you cannot do anything without reading you have to read everything first and get your background information before you try to move forward just like any Baker you have to read other recipes before you decide to make a new treat or tweak it if anything you have to get a base you have to start from the ground of something so you know just like anybody else do your research you have to read so we have to add in reading in the arts because there is no dating without the art you have to make it look presentable all the time because people eat with their eyes if it’s not presentable with their eyes then good luck so I always made sure I went by STREAM and only STREAM is super important science technology reading engineering arts and mathematics is how I lead so we just came up with the extreme baking pots and it really is true that there’s so many aspects of STREAM that go into baking so if you’re not reading the recipe correctly you can make a lot of mistakes with that there’s the math in the in the fractions of cups of sugar and other pieces of it that got to go in the right way the end of presentation of the cake or the pastry it really is a very big difference I’ve a friend who’s trying to create a different baked goods for his young son matching little characters from shows it works for him that his sons buying it they don’t match very well he’ll post up on Facebook and then the original his end result that probably wouldn’t sell very well in a in a bakery window but that’s also the key to the aspect of it really is an arts to make some of these things. I know some pastry chefs who really do an amazing job of making things look real that that’s in the end it is really just cake but it doesn’t look like cake that is 100% true a lot of times I may I’m looking at YouTube like master chef or sometimes a lot of cooking videos will pop up on my Reels and I know this is just one specific channel and it says is it real or is it just cake and so they slice in between it you’d be like is it actually a basketball or is it just a cake that looks like a basketball and sometimes they have like ones that they do like steak they do all different types of lines different objects so it’s really interesting how close you can get something because not only do is there icing now there’s there is gnoshthere’s a whole bunch of different types of on ways that you can get stuff on kicks like they have markers where you can paint on the cake or draw on the cake they even have the little spray paints that you use now so that it’s just it’s still got so incredible art is definitely a big thing .
I saw a video in the last week that was it was is this cake but they all were not cake so you sitting there with anticipation and they can’t cut into the to the pool ball and all these other things so it makes it even more so incredible of some of these creations that that people have done but you also at a very young age actually had your own space to do little events for parties and for individual teachings that that’s pretty incredible a lot of responsibility .
yes I had my own shop I had my grand opening for my own shop January 28, 2017 and when I walked so I didn’t actually set it up I was surprised when I set it up because my mom did not tell me that I was having a shot in the beginning she did not tell me I always wanted my own bakery I always wanted my own you know store that I could sell my baked goods out of because at first I started out selling in school and a lot of people liked my treats and I was selling to close family members some of my mom’s fellow workers and so it started off like that but I always wanted to place that I can go in and so I choose to have little parties for little girls and things like that but my mom I don’t know how she did how she found it she just went out searching for it I’m guessing just searching for a place for me because you know my mom always wanted my dreams to come true like any other mom does and so she just picked me up one day from school and she drove me to someplace I she didn’t tell me where I was going she was just like we’re going somewhere just getting the car come on we’re going somewhere and I’m just like what where are we going where are we going because I just had this long day at school I just want to go home but I was glad that she took me there because it was it was off of Atlantic Blvd. and when I got there I locked in I saw these shells up and she was like Simone this is going to be your storefront this is going to be your bakery this is your place and I was just so excited I could not believe my eyes I was so shocked because I’m eleven years old with my own storefront that is absolutely incredible like dream come true because I was raised to where I was going to this place called sweet and sassy where it was like a place where little girls could get their makeup done you could ride in the limousine they’ll take you around the block but you still felt like OK I’m living the life so I just wanted that same experience for other little girls and I just remember my mom my dad my aunt a couple of my mom’s friends is coming in there they were all decorating it all setting everything up hanging everything up hanging everything and then I had my grand opening on the 28th of January in 2017 and it was just so surreal we sold so many baked items out like brownies cupcakes cookies Oh my gosh so many different chuckles chef aprons chef hats T-shirts it was just incredible I was super shocked so you had that storefront you had some activity going on how were you marketing yourself or as the business being marketed so that people knew that you existed and they can take advantage of the opportunities you were creating so I believe because I was so young and I started on the Steve Harvey show not too long not too long after that I ended up getting even more and more inquiries about you know being put on different type of television shows and things like that but before any of that started I started off just handing out business cards because my mom was an entrepreneur herself she owns a business called lavish moment so she already had like the business side of her so she already knew kind of like where to leave me at so I started off handing out business cards I was making lots and lots of videos posting on my social media constantly um I’ve made sure that anytime I post it I use lots of hashtags that people would be able to identify me by so I would use Simone Bridges hashtag teen chef hashtag team Baker hashtag Baker Jacksonville FL all the hashtags that I could possibly use to promote my business so anything anybody will look up like they’re trying to look for a person that bakes cakes or a person that bakes brownies or any type of trees in Jacksonville FL I would use that hashtag I was just thinking like that because if a person doesn’t know they’re going to look up that hair secret they’re going to look up this certain these certain words and I want my face to pop up and then it will also be times where I would go to lots of different events where umm there’ll be at these convention centers and I would have to bake like dozens and dozens and dozens of brownies and cupcakes like I’m talking about hundreds like 300 different treats and I would take it all to the place that I was that the Convention Center was at and sell out every time and that’s mainly how I started my business going to these shops where it would be about seven different entrepreneurs with different businesses and we’re all young some of them like I was the one of the youngest kids but some of them were like at Max like 18 so we were all like younger and we would just be sharing our business we would team up together it would be like OK you post me on your page so your calls could see me I’m going to post you on my page so my father could see you like we were doing business for business share for share story for story a lot of those things you just have to network and you have to share your business don’t be afraid to tell people about yourself and be yourself most importantly be the loving wonderful positive spirited person that you are and show everybody that you know what your dream is your goal is what your niche is and I know a lot of people at the time you see it more and more people doing it now but at the time when I first started I didn’t know anybody that was baking while teaching STREAM I didn’t know anybody that was doing that so because I was different I got a lot of recognition and eventually then I started being on the news and not only in the news in Jacksonville FL I was in the news in Saginaw MI I was in the news and a whole bunch of different areas and so I was just like wow look I would go out of town to possibly do a speaking engagement and then the news station would hit me up or the person that um flew me out would end up saying hey I can get you on the news if you want me to get you on there so you can be able to spread your business even more I’ll just be like yes 100% I would love to do that because that’s me being able to market my business even more so it was just like blessing after blessing after blessing because then TV shows started hitting me up boom next thing you know I’m on the Steve Harvey show next thing you know I’m getting it all different types of products sent to me for me to review so now you have these people that have these different major products that’s having me review their product they’ll be posting me on their page so now I’m getting even more recognition you just have to hustle and grind and you have to be locked in with social media because when you’re locked in with social media it can take you far away but don’t let social media over become you like don’t let it control you have to be able to stay positive keep a good mindset be able to control um good mental health and make sure you have that lockdown because you don’t want to feel as if you’re overwhelming yourself with too much of this know how to take little breaks as well so you know just having a good support team and being myself and sharing my dream which is really wonderful and really the have those types of experiences in general but at such a young age is really is fantastic and really is a good launch point for a lot of other things that that your business can evolve in.
Now you have quite a busy year ahead of you starting your senior year of high school with just school itself and any extracurricular activities and applying for colleges and everything and your business So what is going on currently with your business and do you see any type of growth and opportunities that are happening over the course of this coming school year?
so currently with my business I’ve been getting lots and lots of event table like 3 tables that I have to do for events so I’ve been doing a lot more events for weddings baby showers birthday parties a lot more cake orders so that’s been a blessing because I’ve always wanted to get into doing more cakes because I feel like that’s just like the heart of baking you know you’re making your if you have your own bakery you have to know how to decorate cakes and you know I thought that was always the most fun part for me so just being able to Try different things and have new ideas thrown at me and challenged myself and say hey the customer says hey I want you to try to do this cake with this design and I want this and this and that and I’m just like hey I’ll take the challenge I mean if you trust me I can really blow you away with this design and every single time they’re just satisfied customers and I’m super-duper happy I’m always learning and sometimes I have cake orders that I will be responding and I’m not necessarily working with fondant yet but I’m like OK well now this gives me the opportunity to try to learn how to use it how to work with it eventually and be able to take those orders too so it’s just been a wonderful journey for me and right now I’m really trying to focus on school a little bit more because it’s you know coming towards the end for me for high school I’m not necessarily 100% sure where the business side is going to go when I go to college because I’m obviously not going to be able to do as much orders because I’ll be out of town I think I’m going to be in a dorm but I’m not 100% sure yet because I I haven’t selected any college here or haven’t even you know started with that whole entire process yet because it’s just the beginning of my senior year so I still haven’t decided on a certain college or anything like that for me it’s mainly just whatever college give me the best scholarship and so whenever I end up going to college I think that I will still be able to do regular treat orders and sell my treats but probably not anything big because I won’t have the access to be able to do that depending on what college I’m going to like if I’m at a College in Atlanta I probably will because I have down in Atlanta so I’m able to go to their house make whatever treat I need to do and then give it to the person but if I’m somewhere like Louisiana I can’t because I don’t have any access to anybody in Louisiana so now I’m just like I can do something small something regular but I can’t do any like big tree order so it’s just it’s it’s all about wherever my future holds me I know God will lead me to the right direction but something that I’ve actually been doing really interested is being a realtor because I want to be able to flip houses so this summer I actually have an internship that I’m doing where I get to work with a realtor side by side so that’s what I’m really excited about I haven’t really spoken much about it to my Instagram page about being gross that’s probably something I’m going to do just to surprise a little bit because I don’t think anybody has that vision in their head needing a realtor like I don’t think anybody knows that that’s something that I want to do just very few people.
amazing and is I guess sums up all the words that aren’t coming out of my mouth of all the things you’ve been able to accomplish and get or get started on at your age and really show some growth in and really create your brands you that that’s the one of the biggest things you’ve done you’ve had all this different media exposure and opportunities even recently now you’ve been in two different pageants and just one miss Jacksonville so with his other opportunities where you’re spreading your wings and getting more exposure for your brand for yourself and showing different types of talents that you have to the world.
yes so it just has been a wonderful experience and speaking about that pageant the pageant was a wonderful experience for me because it was my first time being inside of like a full national pageant where you have people coming from all different types of states all coming down to compete inside this patent cell it was a really big experience for me being able to be crowned miss Jacksonville team and then miss national American team first runner up was definitely in a big award to add to my resume because never would have ever thought that I would have even came inside of a place I mean I know I’m a queen in my own heart in the in my own mindset but you know those girls they have been doing pageants for years and years and years and some of them since they were five years old so it’s like why would I give my mind you know I have I don’t have any experience in the previous time so in my head I’m like uh you know I’m just doing it for fun you know to build different relationships with different girls something that I can try out that’s new but I didn’t think I honestly didn’t think that I was going to place but it was like you know when you think about it I am a very bubbly fun person I love getting dressed up I had a wonderful time and I think that’s what it was mainly about because I enjoyed myself and I had a wonderful time and it showed and plus that dancing number I know I did that I know I did my thing from the dancing number because I love dancing so you know blessings are blessings and I was just happy that I was able to be crowned first runner up it was a wonderful experience I loved it so with all that you’ve accomplished in this really short period of time in in your lifespan well where is the thing you’re most proud of one of the things that I’m most proud of is being well my first accomplishment will always sit with me my first major one which was being on the Steve Harvey show that will always sit with me and be one of like my favorite accomplishments but I would say something that I’m most proud of is when I started my nonprofit organization Simone British inspires Inc and I got over 100 kids sponsored I’m talking like seriously over 100 kids sponsored to attend the event for free and during the event they were able to visit all the STREAM stations so it was a science station technology station reading station and so far on and then they were able to see all different types of apps we had a speaker like a motivational speaker we had two different singers I performed a dance with some of my other friends they had two different meals yeah we fed them twice and then they also got all different back to school items so they got back to school backpacks and inside of it came with another drawstring bag so like something like they wanted to put something little in there they could have that little small bag as well it came with pencils pens markers crayons glue sticks and glue bottles we have rulers and we have notebooks composition books scissors Oh my God they just got so many stuff and they all got STREAM shirts to take so man oh man that event it took a lot it took a lot but have a great support team a lot of people that want great things for me so I was just blessed enough to be able to have a crew and I special things to me knowing good people when I see good people because I was blessed to have a good friendship with a lot of girls and I still talk to every single one of them every single one of them till this day we still talk and we still have conversations matter of fact I’m meeting up with one of them next week on Wednesday so we can go out and catch up because you know I love catching up with people so um yeah just honored to be able to have branches with them because they all came out to support me help out because we needed lots of helpers to guide other kids to be able to you know keep them company get anything that they needed and just basically like assistance so I was honored to be able to have them behind my back because they made sure that that event ran smoothly in my mom’s heels to my mom you know hey hi hey ho whatever they want to say she is amazing because she was the one that was like boss lady that day she made sure everything was in order she told everybody where to go what to do um when this was happening when the next thing was happening and I just let her lead and I fell right in line and just did my thing and everything just fell wonderfully I mean it was a very successful event and I had no idea that I was going to get that many kids in that event but I did and it was amazing.
oh that’s phenomenal it really is it’s great how you really have looked at community it’s as opposed to just building business it’s really how can you create opportunities to get other kids to learn and to have experiences and to grow from those experiences so obviously it’s not just going to a baking class or event it’s learning how to bake so they can bake for themselves and if it’s truly inspiring and in such a great story that really is in the early chapters of what your book is going to be it’s pretty incredible of where your path is going to take you now if people want to learn more about you or to really do business with you purchase items and really have a full understanding of all the things that that you have available to them what’s the best way for someone to reach you ?
so I have two ways that are really great to reach out to me either to as far as booking definitely my website which is www.goddessyfactory.com and there’s my e-mail in there my number on there just in case you have any questions but I definitely respond faster to Instagram Instagram DMS my Instagram is GODDESSFOODJAX and if you wanted like any treats or anything like that that you were wondering if I can do or if I can replicate anything that would be the best way to send me the picture date time and exactly what you wanted and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible if my website is www. GODDESSFODDFACTORY.com.
well Simone thank you so much for joining us I’m really sharing such a great inspirational story for kids to emulate as they’re they have a spark in being an entrepreneur that seeing the things you’ve accomplished and they can be accomplished you just got to go have a great calendar and a lot of a lot of balance and it could support team and you and you could do a lot of things so someone thank you so much for all that you’ve done but also for joining us today.
thank you for having me I really enjoyed my time.
and thank you for joining us as well it’s incredible I think we all can look back and think about the things we did or didn’t do in our teens and see that there’s was great opportunity to get your life going and like granted social media exists now which didn’t exist decades ago that definitely helps in the in situations like this but this is all about the spark is all about having that energy having that those ideas having those talents and having the support team to push you through and to get you rolling and to help you along the way so if you have teens with a with the spark of something that they really enjoy perhaps a good little push will get them going to what their career is at a very early age definitely somebody who investigated about with those that are in your lives but go have a great rest of today and we will see you next time this has been small business marketing then and now brought to you by profit master business solutions marketing strategy for the small business owner to learn more and click findnewrevenue.com.