Young entrepreneurs, especially those in the food world, often fail to make it past their first year. Kristine de la Cruz of Crème Caramel L.A. started out in 2010 making savory desserts and bread puddings from her home kitchen, then expanded her business to local farmers markets. Now with her first brick-and-mortar shop, which opened in September, she's an example of what success can look like if you stay focused, work hard -- and sleep with a kickass 52-page business plan under your pillow.
Amy T. Shuster Bourbon Pumpkin Cheese Cake
Building her customer base through food festivals, markets and social media outlets, de la Cruz has been able to reach a wider audience for the desserts that are the centerpiece of her shop. She and her partner-boyfriend, Sean Gilleland, took over a former Armenian bakery in the San Fernando Valley and set up, as she calls it, "a mini artisanal urban bodega."
Squid Ink caught up with de la Cruz to chat about her journey from sweet dreamer to shop owner and get her advice for other aspiring small business owners.More »