(Dallas) – Annie’s Culinary Creations got its start with an eighth-grader who was equipped with a cake decorating kit, a willingness to serve others and a huge dream.
Annie Hall has worn many hats besides her baker’s cap, which she dons when making mouth-watering red velvet cupcakes or wedding cakes designed to mimic a bride’s wedding gown. Everything is made by hand with no commercial frostings or mixes.
“Life is what you bake it” is more than just the theme at Annie’s Culinary Creations’ three shops, including the flagship site at Knox and Henderson streets in Dallas.
“It’s a crazy life. It’s hard work, but very rewarding, because you get to be part of someone’s happy time. We do their wedding cakes and baby showers and their children’s birthday cakes. A lot of customers keep in touch, and that keeps us busy,” said Hall. “Food is a big detail at any event.”
Hall hopes to leverage what she has learned from investment bank Goldman Sach’s 10,000 Small Businesses program – a national program which is a public/private partnership brought to Dallas by Dr. Joe May, chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District, and the mayors of Dallas and Fort Worth. The program helps small companies create jobs, increase revenues and expand their businesses. In Dallas, DCCCD teaches the education modules.
Hall learned about the Goldman Sachs program when she catered DCCCD’s tribute to Dr. Bill J. Priest, the school’s first chancellor who served from 1965 to 1981. Dr. Priest, 97, died on New Year’s Eve in 2014, and the district honored his memory in April of this year.
Hall, who graduated from the program in August, is planning to set up software that will help her expand her territory throughout Dallas’ competitive custom bakery market. The Goldman Sachs program led her to a programmer and provided other contacts.
Hall, who holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Baylor University, is a former chief executive for a number of financial firms. Eight years ago, she left the corporate life of running other businesses and then baked her way into the food business.
The Goldman Sachs program got her out of the day-to-day operations of Annie’s Culinary Creations and allowed her to construct the backside of her business. “Goldman Sachs connected me,” said Hall, who supervises cake designers, pastry chefs and decorators.
DCCCD’s first class associated with the Goldman Sachs program in September 2014 started with 39 business owners. The program is free, and participants must be co-owners or business owners who have operated for at least two years, have a minimum of four workers (including the owner) and have business revenues of at least $150,000 in the most recent fiscal year. They learn about advertising, social media, financing, marketing and developing contacts.
Participants must complete 11 classes at the Bill J. Priest Institute for Economic Development, a campus of El Centro College, part of the DCCCD system.
For more information about the 10KSB program at DCCCD, contact Sheryl Hardin by phone at 214-457-8597 or by email at Sheryl.firstname.lastname@example.org.