Today we’d like to introduce you to Ana Cottrell.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Ana. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I worked most of my life in the hospitality industry. My last job, I worked overnight shifts (for almost nine years) at a hotel downtown. It was very tiring, especially with two small children at home. I always had the desire to work on my own, and for a few years, I was contemplating the idea but didn’t have the time or energy to pursue it. It finally came into fruition when I decided to quit my job after witnessing a shooting across the street while at work. Yes, terrifying and eye-opening. And I knew it was time to leave that behind. That’s how ALECRIM was born. I always liked to bake. I have fond memories of baking cakes and cookies with my mom. So I tried many recipes and came up with an array of cookies, some not so traditional, but equally delicious. I created all the recipes, using the best ingredients, and all my cookies are baked with love. It’s been a fun journey, coming up with the products, packaging, labels (which have strict rules imposed by the Health Department), creating the website and upping my photography game so I could add great photos to show customers my products. Hope one day I’ll have a storefront where I can sell more than just cookies, maybe some desserts with Brazilian flavors, where my roots are. Cheers!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I hear people saying that the first few years of opening a business are the hardest. And they’re right. It hasn’t been easy, mainly because I don’t have a storefront. And advertising can be really expensive, so I rely on giving out free samples, word of mouth from customers, and every opportunity I get I hand out some business cards and talk about my business. And ALECRIM is a little over a year old, so I have hopes that will eventually take off. And I see a trend that a lot of people rely solely on reviews (Yelp etc.) and they’re afraid of trying something different, especially when you’re new.
Please tell us about ALECRIM.
ALECRIM sells cookies and shortbreads made in a home kitchen. It’s called Cottage Food Operation, licensed by the San Diego Health Department. When deciding what cookies to offer, I opted for some unique flavors, like Cardamom & Cashews, Currant Caraway, Savory Rosemary, and traditional ones, like Snickerdoodles and Chocolate Chunk. I’m currently developing some vegan and gluten-free recipes. Customers can choose – bite-size or regular size cookies.
My cookies are baked to order. I only use high-quality ingredients to ensure every cookie will be fresh and delicious. And I believe that when you do something with love, it shows on the final product.
I’m really proud of myself for taking the risk and try something new. You’re never too old to reinvent your career.
I’m proud to work on my own, doing what I love and to spread some sweet joy to my costumers.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Thinking back, I went overboard when ordering labels. I mean, I have boxes and boxes full of them! The thing is, the higher the number of labels you order, the cheaper it is, so I ordered a ton! That’s one thing that I would change and be more conservative if I could start over.
- $2.99 – 1 oz box
- $5.99 – 4 oz box
- $8.99 – 8 oz box
- Website: www.alecrimcookies.com
- Phone: 619.564.9220
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/anacottrell
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/alecrimcookies