“I was glad to have connected with my Business Advisor at the SBDC. They were very patient with me and helped me understand how important it is to keep financial records properly accounted for so now I can manage my finances better. I am very thankful that they helped me to develop all the financial reports the lender was asking for so I could secure my loan and hire a baker that I needed for so long.”
San Francisco native Gabrielle Feuersinger started her cake-design business, Cake Coquette, in 2007. With training in baking and pastry from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Gabrielle took a position at the W Hotel in Seattle, where high-quality desserts and extraordinary pastry decoration was of utmost importance. Gabrielle then moved to Los Angeles to hone her abilities with a prestigious cakery called Cake Divas, where she helped construct some of the most extravagant cake projects imaginable for a high-profile, celebrity clientele.
Today, Gabrielle continues to expand her skills by designing signature cakes for trend-setting Bay Area brides. Though weddings are her specialty, Cake Coquette creations are requested for every type of event – from launch parties and birthdays, to anniversaries and showers. Recognized as a leader of cake-design in the Bay Area, Cake Coquette has been featured on dozens of popular Web sites including DailyCandy.com, StyleMePretty.com and Chow.com. Gabrielle has been profiled in the San Francisco Chronicle Magazine and is a recurring guest on the local television-favorite, “View from the Bay.” Professional photographs of Gabrielle’s work are consistently highlighted in such publications as San Francisco Brides, Your Wedding Day, Brides Northern California, Bride and Bloom, Gentry and Today’s Bride.
Gabrielle needed to obtain a loan for $400,000 to repay her father who funded her capital needs to expand her business, building a commercial kitchen and for working capital. She approached a lender and she was asked to develop financial projections to support her loan application. Her major challenge was that her bookkeeper resigned and she did not know how to develop sales forecasts and cash flow projections. Besides all of that, she was pregnant and had so little time to come to our office and meet in person while running her business at her brand new commercial kitchen. One of the microlenders referred her to the SBDC for help.
The SBDC understood Gabrielle’s personal situation and they started working together either on the phone or at the business site. The SBDC explained to her all the different financial reports needed and what they meant for a business. When analyzing the business’ financial reports Gabriela realized that there were incorrect recordings of costs and expenses that the owner was not aware of. The SBDC had to explain how to properly record accounts and had to learn from the owner how the business operated. Once accounts were properly recorded, the SBDC helped Gabrielle to project sales and expenses based on the past 2-year performance and future plans.
The result was that Gabrielle was able to secure $400,000 with Eastwest Bank at a very competitive interest rate and she could also hire a baker so she could have more time for business development. Her sales in 2011 increased 25 percent according to projections.