A 17-year-old ‘sweet spot’ dessert business is flying
By Mesha Sealey
Of course, that’s not what you would traditionally expect when making the rich dessert. In fact, while many find the idea rather bizarre, a 17-year-old from Farm, East Bank Demerara (EBD) is committed to making this sweet treat a business venture.
2020 saw a series of small businesses and services blossom in a bid by people to stay on the water during the pandemic. One of these is ‘The Sweet Spot’, a dessert business owned and controlled by Kayleen Smith.
“While growing up in Guyana, I noticed that gourmet desserts are usually only found in great hotels and restaurants, and for some, only when traveling. So my goal was to make these desserts available for everyone to enjoy, in the comfort of their own homes at a reasonable price, ”said Smith.
One of her contemporaries who had tasted Smith’s creation said: “I must say that I find it a wonderful venture, especially on Kayleen’s behalf. Reason is, I’ve known her since High School, and since then she’s had this passion for baking. “
“Overall, it’s great for what it does,” added the customer.
Baking and pastry making has always been a passion of Smith, from the age of thirteen.
“I have always dreamed of opening a business to share my creations with others, but before COVID, I couldn’t find the time since I was a student at the University of Guyana studying for a Bachelor of Environmental Health Degree,” Smith explained.
The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic that brought with it a host of diseases, gave Smith the free time to get on his feet.
“The most important thing for me at startup was perfecting my cheese recipes. So I devoted a lot of time to trying various combinations and techniques until I got the recipe that was absolutely right. Next was to work on the brand image, so I had to consult a designer for my labels, leaflets and also get the packaging that would complement each individual dessert, ”Smith related, in a recent interview with the Chronicle.
“During this time, I took the opportunity to see what my competitors were offering, because I wanted to be unique — even if those were just desserts. It was important that the items on my menu stood out from others, so this is why I created four different styles of cheese, including one of our customer favorites, ‘Cheesecake Jars’. The final step was to start putting my flyers and logos on all my social media platforms to let everyone know something big was coming. ”
And it was coming. When ‘The Sweet Spot’ launched its online service on Aug. 2, 2020, the orders poured in, according to Smith.
“It continued like that for the week, and then it slowed down. Of course we had high points and low points, but business was going well, ”he said.
Asked to leave a comment for those now starting their own business ventures, Smith said: “For those who have already started, just realize that you have completed the most important, pressing task” the most important obstacles of fear and intimidation.
The next step is to focus on your ‘why’. For those now planning to go into business, I can tell you that being your own boss and being able to manage your day-to-day activities is a very satisfying feeling and that the goal of financial freedom should be everyone’s dream. Being your own boss will take you closer to that, ”Smith advises.
Kayleen is described as a rather extrovert, with a warm, fun personality.
“She understands, is patient and active,” said Asheriea Isaacs, a former fellow of the young entrepreneur. “When around, you can be assured that there are a couple of laughs, or even more nearby,” added Isaacs. “To all my customers, I would like to say thank you for trusting and encouraging a 17 year old boy’s dream,” Smith said before adding: “My growth and development at ‘the Sweet Spot’ has been largely due to you. ”The Sweet Spot also serves cookies, brownies, cupcakes and decorated cakes for all occasions. They are available for delivery or pick up, once orders have been placed in advance. They can be found on Facebook and Instagram at @ thesweetspot.gy, or can be contacted via WhatsApp at + 592-697-9993.