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Bread Baking and Selling Online: A Recipe for Success

Seller finds the right combo with specialty breads and butters.

People like bread—and foodies really seem to love Marissa Gadsden’s specialty loaves and butters.

If you need proof, just check out Gadsden’s Facebook page for her business, Eden’s Touch Bread Company, where you’ll see comments like, “I had the most wonderful box in my mail today! Thank you so much for the amazing bread… I can’t wait for breakfast!”

What makes Gadsden’s breads stand out from other loaves? She’ll tell you it’s that her breads are natural, and contain no preservatives or chemicals. Customers are more likely to say they’re just tasty, and with menu choices like cinnamon raisin, bacon cheddar, apple walnut and whole wheat raisin nut, it’s hard to disagree.

Business raises

Gadsden didn’t exactly plan on starting an online business from bread baking, or any business, for that matter. The former radio personality simply enjoyed baking—a hobby her sister-in-law turned her on to. But her breads caught on.

She says she baked for fun, and to make gifts for friends and family. Then one day she dropped off a loaf to a family friend who gave her cash for the treat and an order for two more items.

That caught Gadsden by surprise, but soon other family members and friends asked for her specialty loaves, too—even those who lived outside the Philadelphia area, where Gadsden resides.

“That is when I looked into creating a business with a license and insurance,” she says. “We delivered all over the Philadelphia Tri-State area.”

Through word-of-mouth and social media, more people learned of Eden’s Touch Bread Company, sparking the idea to take the bread baking business online to give her family across the country a way to easily order items, and to take her hobby-turned-business to the next level.

With the expansion to online, days are busy for Gadsden…The merchant bakes about 14 orders a day and ships items the next day.

Her online business is fairly new—about a year old—but in that time, Gadsden has made plenty of sales and “hasn’t looked back,” she says. In fact, she’s opened two more stores, one on Etsy and one on Craft Cafe.

She’s also making strides to increase her sales locally by working with area stores, so they can carry her specialty breads, butters, spreads and mixes to offer some of the company’s “homemade goodness,” she tells us.

Working the dough

With the expansion to online, days are busy for Gadsden. “We are expected to do triple more baking than what we do [currently, at] 75 to 200 loaves a week,” she says.

The merchant bakes about 14 orders a day and ships items the next day. She’s also a mom, which means she usually doesn’t start kneading the dough until late at night. It’s not uncommon for her to go to bed at 3 a.m. and be back up at 8 a.m. to tend to her home and daughter, Eden.

As readers may have guessed, the store is named after Eden. “She is a toddler, so anyone with any experience with a toddler knows that they touch everything,” Gadsden explains.

When visitors tour the seller’s shops, they’ll definitely pick up on the proud-mamma aspect of the stores. Eden’s photo is prominently displayed in the shops’ logos.

The way to fans’ hearts

Gadsden promotes her bread baking business on Twitter, in blogs, on fliers, on her business cards and through word-of-mouth. She’s also asked bloggers to sample her products and review them, and a few have happily obliged.

But if you take a look at the company’s Facebook page, you’ll see that it is working especially well for the entrepreneur. The page has more than 2,000 likes, and customers frequently interact with her on the page, asking question about their orders, thanking her for their shipments, and wishing her well—and she’s quick to respond.

This is our second holiday season and, now that we provide our specialty bread mixes internationally, I expect to be very busy!

When Hurricane Sandy hit, several customers posted comments that they wished her well. Hours before the storm hammered the Northeastern United States and the East Coast, Gadsden reported high winds and rain in her area on her business page. However, she and her family were not as affected by the storm as others.

“We are doing well, just waiting to hear from family members in New Jersey and New York that have lost power,” she posted on her business’ Facebook page the day after the storm. “We will resume baking tonight to get yours orders to you this week.”

Baking continues

With the holiday season upon us, the seller has high hopes for her bread baking business. “This is our second holiday season and, now that we provide our specialty bread mixes internationally, I expect to be very busy!” she tells us.

For others who may be thinking of starting an online business, Gadsden has one simple suggestion: Do your research.

“It’s easy to start a business, but it’s much harder keeping a business,” she says. “Do your homework. Make a five-year plan…If you were interviewing for a full-time, high-salary-paying job, that question would come up: Where do you see yourself in the next five years? You should be able to answer that for your own business, too.”

Visit Eden’s Touch Bread Company. Readers can get 15 percent off purchases by entering the code ONLINESELL.


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About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of TheOnlineSeller.com. In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.



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