Its a really good beginner business book. All the baking title puns were really cute.
The advice isn't unique or something you couldn't find in another "how to start a business" book but she has the angle of a women owned self starter in a unique field angle.
Thank you NetGalley for the eARC!
I’m usually a little cautious about reading memoirs/nonfiction books by entrepreneurs but I’m SO glad I chose to read and review this book. I’ve watched Candace Nelson on TV for years, and I always loved her because she was so honest, yet sweet. Reading this book, though, has made me like her even more and has inspired me so much. We see her successes, but we also see her struggles and challenges. A great read for someone looking to start their entrepreneurial journey. Also loved the ‘Takeaways’ and ‘Food for Thought’ sections… and so random, but I loveddd the formatting of the book too (the pinks were so cute! 😄).
Thank you, Cupcake Queen, for this!
Candace Nelson, creator of the Sprinkles cupcake phenomenon, spills her secrets in this one! As someone who apparently lived under a rock and had never heard of Sprinkles cupcakes (or a cupcake ATM) and has never watched an episode of Cupcake Wars, I had no idea - honestly, none - who Candace Nelson was or anything about Sprinkles. This gave me a different perspective in that I was able to base my opinion of this book on the book itself, not my opinion of cupcakes, Nelson, or a TV show. While everything Nelson has accomplished is certainly impressive, this book stands on its own merits. She completely breaks down the process of starting a business, tackling inevitable, but unforeseen obstacles, and even the exit process needed to allow your business to continue growth. Very detailed with tons of useful info, but also readable and entertaining. Nelson not only provides anecdotes from her own experiences, but also shines a light on many other entrepreneurs and their stories.
Loved it. Highly recommend to anyone who is looking to open their own business, especially if it’s a product-based brick and mortar.
Thanks to Candace Nelson, HarperCollins Leadership, and Netgalley for this ARC in return for my honest review.
overall 4.0 I enjoyed this book - not as someone that wants to be an entrepreneur but as someone reading her story and about her life. some of her advice is actually really applicable to life and work in general. I loved learning about her inspiration for the cupcake atms, especially since I read this book while pregnant with my first kiddo and could totally relate!
I was so excited for this to release that I preordered a copy from B&N!
Who doesn’t dream of turning their passion into a liveable income? Who doesn’t want to only do what they love? Who doesn’t want to make a living out of something that brings them joy?
This article sums up 10 lessons on how to follow your passion and turn your hobby into full-time work!
They are all from the wonderful book “Sweet Success” by Candace Nelson. The tips here work for any passion you may have, but this book cannot be missed if you want to open a bakery!
Candace Nelson is a thriving entrepreneur, first known for co-founding Sprinkles, the cupcake empire. She since has extended her work into Pizzana, a fast-growing chain of award-winning Neo-Neapolitan pizzerias and continues to expand her portfolio. Author of the New York Times Best Seller “The Sprinkles Baking Book,” co-creator and executive producer of Hulu’s upcoming “Best in Dough”, executive producer and judge on Netflix’s “Sugar Rush” and of Food Network’s hit show “Cupcake Wars”.
…and now, the actual lessons…
As a founder, be prepared to be everything for your company. Everything! You have all the roles: from creating the product to taking out the trash. It is, as the author puts it, “exhausting and exhilarating”, but worth it.
Find your passion — it needs to be something you can obsess about every moment of your day because you will have to be consumed with it in order to succeed.
Add purpose to your endeavour – make it emotional so that you have something to offer besides the product itself. This is what will captivate your customers.
Embrace challenges: try things you are afraid of just so that you learn and grow and make sure you start before you feel ready (because, let’s face it, you never will — imposter syndrome is real, especially affecting women).
Welcome failure! To fail is a universal experience. The only difference between a pro and a novice is how they deal with it. A pro will accept it, learn from it and just swiftly move on.
Ideally, you’ll have a unique product, but that is extremely rare. However, you can definitely stand out by having a unique spin on a product and making it personal and distinctive (check out this article, if you need more ideas on how to innovate).
Figure out the problem you’re solving — this will help in promoting your product and reaching the right customer for it.
Know your competitors. Become their customer. Understand them and their strategy enough to be able to differentiate yourself.
When your product is created, be prepared to step into the spotlight to promote it — you are your business’s biggest advocate. Remember that customers buy you as much as they buy your product. You need to keep that in mind and be in alignment with what you sell: for example, if you’re having a family-friendly product, you better maintain a family-friendly language whenever you’re interviewed.
Spend money where they are needed. If you own a bakery or a restaurant, you know your kitchen equipment is vital to the business. If you own an online business, you’d better make sure your website is always functional. There is no universal tip here. It is for you to decide where money should go, but never, ever skimp on what is essential to your specific endeavour.
…and a Bonus Tip:
Building culture is essential for organic growth. You want your employees to convey the feel of the company and of the leadership in every aspect of their interaction with customers and colleagues. That means leading by example.
Assume that everyone is always watching you and copying your attitude. It also means real appreciation (a.k.a. recognition plus financial benefits) for each and every one of the people whose actions create a better business.
This book was inspiring! I hate cooking, yet I was prepared to open my own bakery after reading it!
The advice here is so practical and the stories so real and personal, you actually get to not only understand the mindset and ideas of a startup founder but also feel her passion.
Though the ideas above can be applied to absolutely any business (and that is a big plus), Candace Nelson also explains all the ways in which she innovated the baking world with her “Sprinkles”. The story is beyond fascinating in these aspects:
First, she had the idea of a cupcake-only store, which in itself is wow!
But then you also understand how she got to the Cupcake ATM — for the midnight cupcake lovers!
She was amongst the first to use social platforms to grow their businesses with tactics like “whisper word” (a secret word shared on social media that would get you a free cupcake).
She continuously experimented with her recipes, inviting people on social media to exclusive tastings. They got to decide on the cupcakes chosen for mass production by filling out forms with their impressions along with a free, new cupcake.
[…] when you try to be everything to everyone, you lose your identity. That’s dangerous. Know your mission, what you’re about, and stick to it — especially in the beginning.
“Sweet Success”, by Candace Nelson
I hope you found this article helpful. If so, consider reading the book yourself and see what other great ideas and practical tips you can gather from it, as the behind-the-scenes of a starting business are amazing!
P.S. More than for other books, the detail the author put in the book’s design, look and feel is astounding. From playful fonts to beautiful colours, I loved them all!
Thank you for providing me with more information. Here is my review of "Sweet Success" by Candice Nelson:
"Sweet Success" by Candice Nelson is a fantastic read for anyone interested in baking and entrepreneurship. As the founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes, Candice Nelson shares her inspiring journey of how she started her business from scratch and turned it into a multi-million dollar empire.
The book is well-written and engaging, and the author's passion for baking and entrepreneurship shines through every page. She provides valuable insights and advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own business, and also shares some of her signature cupcake recipes along the way.
What I appreciated most about this book was how honest and candid Nelson was about the challenges and setbacks she faced in her journey. She doesn't sugarcoat anything and provides a realistic portrayal of what it takes to start and run a successful business.
Overall, "Sweet Success" is a highly recommended book for anyone interested in baking, entrepreneurship, or just looking for some inspiration to pursue their dreams. It's a delightful read that will leave you feeling motivated and ready to take on the world.
Sweet Success - A Simple Recipe to Turn your Passion into Profit by Candace Nelson is written in a very readable, reader friendly format. It succeeds where so many other books veer off into business school jargon. As I read, it felt like I was getting common sense advice from a friend who had a wealth of experience. The author makes clear that being an entrepreneur and starting a business is a lot of hard work, while still making it approachable. Each chapter culminates with “Food for Thought” questions relevant to that section that the budding entrepreneur should ask before opening their business. (I reviewed an advance reader copy and all opinions are my own.) Overall, a well-written book that I would recommend to others.
This book is part instructional and part biographical. It focuses on baking of course. However much of the information can be applied to a variety of small businesses.
In an interview, Nelson said one motivation for writing the book was the high number of requests for guidance she receives. With limited time to give one-on-one advice, Nelson resolves the supply/demand dilemma in book form. In this worthwhile read, she narrates her story of "sweet success" to educate and encourage the widest audience of aspiring entrepreneurs.
I love a Sprinkles cupcake and I was a fan of Candace’s podcast while it was airing. This is a behind the scenes peek at how she made her company a success; she shares everything she learned along the way. It felt thorough and candid: she did mince words for how hard it was to be an entrepreneur. But she also made sure this was a fun, engaging read. I hope she plans on writing more books or cookbooks!
Sweet Success by Candace Nelson
Part autobiography and part entrepreneurship explained with catchy baking terms for section titles, this book gives a look at the way SPRINKLES became a big name in business and baking as it took cupcakes to a level they had never been before. The business had ups and downs, as did the author, and some were discussed with how they were overcome.
Having a dream is not enough, passion is not enough, hard work is not enough…in fact…even if one were to follow every suggestion in this book…one still might not succeed. This book does provide concrete steps, suggestions that are worth listening to, and a lot that can be learned. I learned that starting a business is not my personal passion but did think about the suggestions and then wondered which of my interests might have been one that would/could have become a passion that led to a successful income generating international success…
The catchy titles, headings, and subheadings were enough without being too much, the steps offered were organized in a way that would lead a person through what needs to be done, the examples of successful businesses were spot-on, and though not a complete business design tome – a good place to start when considering opening a business.
My favorite part of each chapter was at the very end where the author provided a section called, ‘food for thought’ where questions were asked that made me put my thinking cap on and in so doing…evaluate what would be required to really succeed…or…have a chance at succeeding should I ever decide to open a business.
Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins for the ARC – this is my honest review.
This book will make you want to eat a cupcake! I have had cupcakes from Sprinkles and seen Cupcake Wars on the Food Network, but I never thought about how the business came to be. In this book, the author shares how she and her husband quit their jobs in finance and started with one store in Beverly Hills. Sprinkles quickly grew and there were bumps along the way. The foray into ice cream was particularly interesting. It was not an easy path. Candace mixes in her experience starting the business along with examples from other companies. Each chapter ends with “Food for Thought” and there are graphics throughout. A good read for business advice and how hard it is to build a business, even when you had some of the advantages that Candace had.
I like Candace Nelson, and I feel like I learned a few things from reading this book. Is this book for everyone, probably not, but as a baker and trying to create my own business, it was a good read to learn how she did it.
Thanks NetGalley for this ARC!
I really enjoyed this business book, it kept my attention more than most business books do. I'm not sure if it is because of the cupcakes or not!
The steps and information were laid out in easy to follow steps, and interesting examples or anecdotes were included to explain why each step was important in your business evolution, and why it mattered.
Thank you Netgalley for the ARC!
Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins Leadership for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Sweet Success releases on November 8
I really enjoyed this! I've always been interested in marketing and entrepreneurship — pair that with an already existing culinary degree — this was told through language that was relatable and familiar to me, making this easy to digest and visualize.
The step by step processes were clear to follow, and the recaps through "food for thought" and "hot top" added cohesiveness.
Integrating examples of other successful brands and companies that most people are exposed to on a regular basis added a nice element and helped to paint a wider picture. At times, there might have been too much focus on brands other than "Sprinkles" - I personally didn't mind it since it allowed me to understand on a deeper level, however, if a reader came specifically for the "Sprinkles" success story, I can see where they might lose some interest.
All in all, this was a great read. Having already been familiar with the Sprinkles company and products such as the Cupcake ATM prior to reading, it made the experience even more enjoyable.
The addition of illustrations throughout really brought it to life and added a touch of whimsical.
"As you preheat your oven, gather your ingredients, and prepare your recipe, remember that the convection fans of reality may blow your passion sideways as it rises. But as long as you keep your trays spinning, your dreams will bake to perfection, and you will reach your very own sweet success."