A closer look into the life of owning a bakery A day in the life of Joanne and Thomas Little

Cakes for All Occasions, located in Fairborn, Ohio, is run by Joanne, 65 and Thomas Little, 69. Both are Fairborn natives who are well-known in the community.

Fresh made brownies, in the process of being iced

Joanne has owned the shop for 16 years, working alongside her husband, Thomas. Thomas does the baking while Joanna decorates. On a typical day, the showcase is filled by noon, and the rest of the day is spent prepping orders or fulfilling walk-in orders. "I cake the day before and freeze it, which means I can make a cake fairly quickly if someone needs it," Joanne shared.

Joanne icing a slice of cake

"I treat this bakery more like my personal kitchen, I always love when people come to visit," Joanna shared. Prior to opening the bakery, Joanne worked at a bakery in a grocery store, where the idea was inspired to open a bakery of her own.

The section of the store where potentials clients can view ideas for wedding cakes

"I used to do wedding expos to draw up more business, but I stopped because they are so expensive. But I still really enjoy making wedding cakes," Joanna said. Joanne and Thomas have always ran their business with the customer in mind, and doing their best to keep costs low, even if that means less profit for them.

"If I knew then what I know now about starting a business, I wouldn't have done it. When starting a business, you can't just think about the money." While discussing the difficulty of starting a business, Joanne and Thomas have learned many important lessons along the way. "We've learned how to say no, because we have to protect our small business."

Cupcakes before they are iced

"Sometimes people bring in recipes they would like me to recreate, and we work together until it's just the way they remembered it. It's really special that people trust me to make their special family recipes." Recipes in the bakery come from a variety of sources, such as her own family recipes.

Joanna icing a slice of cake

A variety of baked goods are made daily, including eclairs, cream horns, iced brownies, coffee cakes and cinnamon rolls. In the summer, ice cream is sold, which is popular among the child who live in the neighborhoods nearby. "We wish we could have it year-round, but it's too expensive. But we know the kids really enjoy it, which is why we keep doing it."

"Our most popular items are the cinnamon rolls and the brownies, so we always make sure to keep plenty of those in stock throughout the day."

The finishing touches being made to a coffee bake before being placed in the showcase

"With only two of us here who run the shop, Thomas and I really enjoy our days off. Sometimes they don't seem like enough, but at the end of the day, we enjoy what we do. I know not everyone has the ability to say that."

"We donate to the community quite a bit. In our minds, it's the least we can do."

"I've learned most of what I know from taking cake decorating classes and then making cakes for my neighbors."

"We have a lot of regulars who come in. We even sell the left over pieces of cake from our shape-cakes for a dollar a bag. People like to take it with their medicine. I like that other people can get some use of it."

"I make single slices of cake in a variety of flavors. They sell a lot better than full cakes, and we can sell them for cheaper." Joanne shared her favorite cake designs over the years, ranging from Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders to scenes from The Walking Dead. "I have the chance to be very creative in my job, which is something that took a long time for me to have enough confidence to share with others."

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