Friday 15 August 2014

2Inspire Network Business Profile: Doreen Balogun, Founder of Toast&

In this blog interview we meet Doreen Balogun, The Founder of Toast&, a London based bakery brand which is making waves across taste buds everywhere!

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?

I read through my recipe books looking for new bakes I can add my own twist on. Baking takes up a whole day. I update my blog, Instagram and Twitter and I also research up and coming exhibitions and markets I can be a part of.

What made you start the business and what steps did you take to start operating as a business?

My love for cooking, baking and creating new recipes made me start. I found myself thinking of it everyday. I started with an idea, making sandwiches and bread for my friends and family, getting their feedback. I used their feedback to alter my recipes and makes. Then I came up with a name for my business and the business idea rolled forward from that.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?

Everyday is an accomplishment. I grow everyday with this business and everyday it builds momentum. It's exciting!

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?

Not big challenges as of yet, more minor set backs. I have found at times, more in the earlier stages that my lack of research has held me back.

What are your future plans for the business?

I would love to own a bakery. Where you can get fresh bread and eat an amazing sandwich all in the same place with Nat King Cole playing in the background.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

I would have started a lot earlier.

What’s the best compliment you could receive in business?

'You're doing a great job'

'I love where this is going' and even more in my case 'everything tastes great...more please'

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?

Being a woman, I think instinctively we want to be the one helping, aiding our friends, family or partner to get to where they want to be. We get so wrapped up doing that, we forget about our own dreams. It's not a bad thing at all but our own dreams need to flourish too. It's also important so we can have more female role models in business ready for the next generation of great women who operate their own business.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?

Passion and research. These are the two things that got me started. Visit independent bakeries, bake like crazy and always ask for feedback.

What or who inspires you in business and why?

The great independent bakeries I see and have visited in London, their passion shines through the decor, the food they sell and their customer service. My mum as well, she is a great cook and has admitted she can't bake that well so one day I made it my mission to learn for her and provide her with as much coconut sponges as I could make. She's also great for an encouragement boost.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

There's too many, one is:

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination- Nelson Mandela
Then: I don't have money on my mind, money on my mind, I do it for, I do it for the love- Sam smith (my favourite singer right now)


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