Stories

Betty’s Baked Goods

Julia Scott

“It was because of [my mom] that I had the joy I did when I baked.” - Julia Scott

When Julia Scott got a call from the manager of a neighborhood grocery store the day after a delivery of her made-from-scratch baked goods, she thought something went wrong with the batch. “We've gotta have a talk,” she said on the phone. But as it turns out, it was the opposite; she had already sold out of her granola, and people were hounding her for more. Julia had been baking all her life, and now things were finally taking off as a small-batch commercial baker.

Julia got her love of baking from her mom.  “It was because of her that I had the joy I did when I baked,” she said. So when it came to naming her business, she titled it after her: Betty's Baked Goods.  She liked the alliteration and how the name tells customers that her baked goods were traditionally made because that what makes her stand out. Julia is determined to protect the quality of her baked goods: she not only goes through great efforts to use high-quality ingredients, but she also chooses not to increase the size of her batches because she believes that affects their taste.

Sticking with small batches also allows her to stay close to her community, something she has valued as someone raised in a small town. She likes to have control over her product and she wants to know who's eating it. So far, Julia has limited herself to a handful of vendors in the Hyde Park area, most notably some student-run coffee shops on the campus of University of Chicago.

Taking part in Sunshine Enterprises’ Community Business Academy encouraged her to tackle the sales aspect of her business. “I hate the activity of going into a business and asking them to carry my product—that was one thing the Business Academy really helped me with, because you have to do that. Part of it is sales, and I don’t like sales,” she said. Taking part in the trainings and classes helped her become more comfortable with the process and with maintaining control of her product.

Now, Julia is hoping to expand laterally to more neighborhood shops in the South Side. She's also taking the time to diversify her line of baked goods, moving into more things like breads and biscuits, and to continue with some of the coaching opportunities at the Community Business Academy. Her dream, though, is to open her own brick-and-mortar bakery—so she can be right there when a customer tries her cookies for the first time.