Normally when someone receives a compliment he either deflects it or accepts it and then moves on with his life. Arnold Baptista chose neither of those paths, instead she chose to believe in the compliments of her family and friends, and that belief prompted her to open up her own bakery. Arnold, affectionately referred to as Arnie, spoke of her support network as a pillar of people who have helped her pursue her dream. That dream has certainly been in the making for years as Arnie discovered her passion for baking at a very young age. Arnie said that she found her inspiration to work with food while helping her Auntie Ivone run her business in Mozambique. It was there that she began to explore her sweet tooth too.
However, despite her devotion to her passion, Arnie continues to works full-time as an IT analyst and runs the bakery in her spare time. She is working to establish a larger frame of reference for her sweet business and currently does not operate out of a specific, physical location. Arnie did note though that, “[The company] has been operating as a cottage business since 2012,” and she added that she is, “Currently looking at acquiring a physical location.” In terms of where she is looking to expand to Arnie did not let any details slip, instead she chose to discuss the current residential area expansion in Ottawa, “I find Ottawa a bit restricted. Most [bakeries] are located downtown making it difficult for those in the [newly expanded residential] neighbourhoods who don’t frequently visit downtown to [purchase from those stores].”
Nevertheless, she understands the logistics of making her dream come true. Rather than being discouraged by the challenges set in her path, Arnie takes everything in stride and her positivity shines through in her personality. At the moment she describes her business as, “Unique, cost-effective, and detailed.” Those are the three words that best sum up her vision for her sweet treat factory according to the master baker herself. Those words also seem to apply not only to Arnie’s business sense but to her way of life as well.
When asked about what challenges she has faced since starting Arnie’s Sweets she answered candidly, “My…love and desire to help people has made it a bit difficult for me to operate Arnie’s Sweets to it’s fullest potential as a [budding] cake business.” She spoke of clients who are, “Limited in budget, but would like a more expensive and complicated product,” that Arnie knows she could offer but it would demand a higher price tag, “I often find myself letting my emotions get the best of me and compromising to meet [the client’s need] for the price they have to offer.”
If she had to select a theme for the bakery Arnie said it would be, “Turning peoples’ visions into realities.” Along with her personal assistant and adviser, Arnie works to make peoples’ dreams come to life in the form of delightfully light and airy cake creations. It stands to reason that Arnie would be so motivated to help other peoples’ dreams come true seeing as she is well on the way to attaining her goal of opening her own storefront bakery. She has never forgotten how it all began though and when queried about one of her most memorable baking moments, Arnie shared her feelings about the time she completed her first order, “I was very proud of myself. It was challenging but I told myself that [I could] do it.” She also talked about an order that required her to bake, “Over 500 cupcakes, 200 macarons, and 100 sugar cookies for a trade show,” an experience she dubbed both challenging and enjoyable.
Arnie revealed that experiences like baking for that trade show have inspired her to develop, “Great plans,” for her business and she cannot wait to see her hard work come to fruition. As for advising any other aspiring entrepreneurs she stuck with some good solid advice about commitment and passion, “Always pursue your dream. Every dream matters,” enthused Arnie, “Passion first, money last.”