ICA
The Team

Crumble & Whisk Patisserie | Emeryville, CA.

Founded in 2013 by Charles Farriér, Crumble & Whisk has become one of the most highly-rated cheesecake bakeries in the Bay Area.

Who inspired you to start Crumble & Whisk?

As a teenager, I was inspired by my father to start cooking. My father was an excellent cook and he taught me all that he knew about cooking until he passed in my teenage years. He used to take me fishing and he would let me be his prep cook during meal preparations at home. As a result, I was eager to go culinary school and I was inspired by culinary instructors, friends, and famous chefs.

What were some early challenges or roadblocks your business faced and how did you overcome them?

Building my brand and clientele are two business elements that were hard to push for my company. I was able to overcome the hurdles by self-networking and going around town selling and advertising my products at local stores, barbershops, and events. Also, I entered La Cocina which helped me to shape my brand in the beginning stages of my business venture.

How was your business doing before the coronavirus pandemic?

Before the pandemic, my business was flourishing throughout the Bay Area. I was working on paying down some of my business debt, purchasing a brick & mortar, investing in employee benefits, and building my team.

“Innovation is the key to the continuous growth of my company.

     — Charles Farriér

What effect did COVID have on your business in the beginning? What did you do?

COVID-19 had some negative impacts on my company. It hurt my work environment, team support, product sales, and business events. I applied for various programs to help in lacking areas. I was able to pay my employees for some of their time off. Also, I reinvented some aspects of my company to be able to continue business during the pandemic.

How have you pivoted?

To date, I had to limit the amount of staffing and I am taking on a lot of other roles in place of missing employees. I have implemented new business ideas such as delivery meals which replaces some of the lost profit from markets. Also, I am working on creating a disaster plan to protect my company, employees, and other stakeholders in times such as the pandemic.

What’s on the horizon for your business?

For the future, my business is successfully rebuilding our brand to newer heights as a result of the restraints from the pandemic. My team and I are geared towards building a new concept for the change of brand and business dynamics for Crumble & Whisk. Innovation is the key to the continuous growth of my company with product, customer relationships, and authenticity with employees.

In the next year, I will focus on building up my work culture, communication with stakeholders, revising my packaging, and saving for a storefront. In two years,  I plan to bring my products into more local stores and supermarkets. Also, I plan on being more involved with community support. In five years, I will have my own facility for production and a staff that works as a team to build on innovation and creativity to serve consumers.

How has ICA helped you on your small business journey?

The pandemic had started to shut down much of the economy just as I began my relationship with ICA. However, I see ICA as a  business leader partner that can help me build on the changes needed to build my company.  

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs running a business today?

For entrepreneurs running businesses during this time, it is important to be open to change. You should always consider employees as important as yourself during disaster periods such as the pandemic. Also, businesses can still grow and empower communities during difficult times. For me, I was advised to hang in through the tough times. At one point, I was going to give up with my business due to the pandemic. However, I have more to offer through the creativity of myself and my team with a strong desire to connect with our customers.

How can your community support Crumble & Whisk?

To succeed, I need the support of committed employees with transparency. Also, my company values the support and creative ideas of our customers too. My community can support Crumble & Whisk by visiting our website and getting to know more about my company. Also, my community can be very helpful to the success of my company by reaching out to me via local events, markets, and my website to let me know how Crumble & Whisk can serve the community through charity and build a relationship with the people and other local businesses in the community.  

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Buy online at crumbleandwhisk.com This article is one from a series of profiles featuring entrepreneurs from Cohort Five of the ICA Accelerator. This article is one from a series of profiles featuring entrepreneurs from Cohort Five of the ICA Accelerator.

Read the other Cohort 5 stories:

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