The Recipe is Traditional, but The Business Model is Forever Evolving
Andrew Hahn of Hahn’s Old Fashioned Cake Company wants the world to know that running a small business isn’t always icing on the cake, but through hard work and discipline it can often bring sweet rewards.
Hahn’s Old Fashioned Cake Company has used the same recipe from the inception of their business. The bakery offers packages for loved ones, company gift baskets, and holiday gift giving. Cakes come in several flavors and are available for in store pick up and direct to your door shipping.
The bakery was started by Andrew’s parents out of their house in 1983. They were teachers with a passion for baking. Andrew didn’t inherit his parent’s passion at first. He was working in a job he loved when he had the unfortunate luck of being let go. Although he was sad to leave, he saw it as an opportunity to be his own boss. He fell in love with the independence and personal growth of owning your own business. Once he took the reigns over from his parents, he had a goal to make Hahn’s Old Fashioned Cake Company the best it could be.
THE STRUGGLE OF OWNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS
Although his parents loved baking, they struggled when it came to making business decisions and eventually went into bankruptcy. They recovered a year later, and Andrew took note of everything. With a keen eye, he learned from both their successes and failures on how to run a better business. He was constantly thinking of new ideas for growth and development. Since inheriting the company from his parents, he has expanded the business to include sales, retail, wholesale, manufacturing, a route, distribution, a factory outlet, mail order, and much more.
But nothing could prepare him for the pandemic. Andrew’s bakery relied heavily on his store front for foot traffic and on mail orders. With government shutdowns, mandated store closures, and the cancellation of events, Andrew’s business was hit hard. He knew that to survive he would need to lean heavily on delivery, but delivery wasn’t something he had previously focused on and he didn’t have the capacity or vehicles to expand heavily into it. Andrew also had another worry – his 6 employees. Andrew always values being the best boss for them. He wants to create an enriched work environment, with no barrier for ideas. He sees Hahn’s Old Fashioned Cake Company as a place where his employees can have opportunities, succeed, and grow.
Because of how much he values them, he knew his priority was keeping them on payroll. He applied for the New York Forward Loan Fund through Ascendus to ensure that none of his employees would go without a salary during the pandemic. Andrew was approved and received a $50,000 loan from Ascendus. Because of the loan, he was able to first keep his staff on payroll. He was then able to expand into delivery through adding vehicles, drivers, and establishing a route. Finally, he was able to buy a forklift for his factory to increase efficiency. His business was able to survive the darkest days of the pandemic.
WHY IT’S WORTH IT
Although the work is incredibly challenging, it’s a vehicle for his own self-actualization. Today, Andrew’s business is doing much better. With the adaptations to delivery Andrew was able to increase his business, and he was even able to expand his delivery route.
Andrew says that most people gloss over the hardship, and he doesn’t want to do that in this story. At 63 years of age, Andrew has put in a lifetime of hard work into Hahn’s Old Fashioned Cake Company. He hopes to retire from the business in a few years and eventually sell it, passing on the bakery to someone else who can continue the legacy.