After losing her design job in 2008, Denise Assad launched Bountiful, a private baking company founded on her grandmother's recipes and unemployment checks to purchase ingredients. Her business went from selling pastries to parents at her son's preschool to selling goods at farmers markets (Pacific Palisades, Brentwood and La Canada). After six years of working out of a tiny kitchen, she'll open her first storefront in Glendale in the spring/summer of 2014.
"I began working on the business plan right away because I knew I could never earn enough just baking out of my kitchen," Assad says. "Initially I had hopes of opening on the Westside where most of my customers live. I planned to move my son and I to wherever a space was, but as my son reached elementary school age I realized how important it is to stay within the school system in La Canada." For the past two years, Assad looked locally and kept her eye on a space in Glendale.
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Assad will use this fall and holiday season to get a handle on expanding the farmers markets, then begin construction on the front of her new bakery after January. The idea for the space is "nothing flashy, just good food." Think authentic, classic desserts and savories. "I hope the storefront will reflect my work and become a valued business within the local community and in Los Angeles," she says, "I love it when people first taste my food. It gives me a thrill like nothing else and, well, I suppose I'm addicted to it."
Though Assad may never make the salary she did in the design world, she explains, "this beats the pants out of it in just pure satisfaction." With the new venture, she hopes to inspire her son in the value of hard work and perseverance -- he's attended every Sunday farmers market since the age of four. "Maybe next summer, I can take my son on a real vacation -- one that involves a plane and not a tent -- because we both deserve it." Two hours after signing her lease, the OWN Network ordered desserts catered for 100 people. "That is a good sign," Assad says.
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