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Doctor’s Advice Sparks Sweet Success: Sweet Jazz Treats

Doctor’s Advice Sparks Sweet Success: Sweet Jazz Treats

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Doctor’s Advice Sparks Sweet Success: Sweet Jazz Treats

Sweet Jazz Treats Bakery Startup 101 Story 1

As a professional in the Healthcare/IT space in corporate management who holds a master’s degree in informatics, Jasmine Davis was advised by her doctor that the high stress of her commanding job was likely affecting her maternal fertility and that she may want to consider a career change if starting a family was in her future.

Two weeks later, Jasmine made the decision to transition from the office to the kitchen to find her professional sweet spot. As a talented artist who also enjoyed baking, Ms. Davis decided to indulge her creative passions by developing Sweet Jazz Treats in her hometown of Cincinnati, a selection of baked designer desserts that appealed to the eye as well as the appetite.

Jasmine Davis Founder Sweet Jazz Treats Bakery

Ms. Davis committed to pursuing her entrepreneurial ambitions without a second thought. Deeply rooted in her Faith, she felt compelled to succeed and moved forward in her endeavor with total confidence, establishing her business in 2017 by leveraging her personal network and social media to launch it.

You could say Jasmine’s strategy to distinguish herself from her competitors was to go big or go home. That is to say; she made a conscious marketing decision to supersize her confectionary wares, which, combined with the unique, stylish presentation of her goods utilizing a wide variety of colors and designs – and aromas – made Sweet Jazz Treats an immediate hit.

Davis recalls her very first customer, who is still a diehard patron of her business. Miss Patty hired Jasmine in 2017 to create a birthday cake for her son with the caveat that it had to be themed after his favorite music group, 1990’s iconic boy band NSYNC, featuring Justin Timberlake. Jasmine nailed it, immediately establishing her niche and redefining the definition of ‘baker’s art.’

Ms. Davis initially distributed her designer desserts through catering and vending at festivals and other large public gatherings facilitated by word of mouth and internet marketing. Her website was the ideal tool to showcase her aesthetically tempting treats.

In 2020, when many businesses were shrinking or otherwise in survival mode due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jasmine Davis was preparing to expand. So far, her walk of faith has kept her firmly on the path of achievement and success in her entrepreneurial venture. Determined to follow the commercial course she felt she was ordained to travel, she purchased a food truck.

Jasmine’s decision to procure the truck proved to be a Godsend. Social distancing precluded many of the vending opportunities that had sustained Sweet Jazz Treats. With no storefront to transact business with her clients, Ms. Davis was able to service customers by no-contact delivery, providing her a way forward when some of her brick-and-mortar competitors were deeply struggling.

According to roaminghunger.com, over 100 food trucks serve Cincinnati. To distinguish herself from her competitors, Jasmine employed the same technique that set her baked treats apart from similar businesses’ goods. Drawing on her artistic skills, she branded her food truck with bold colors and images of the various treats featured on her website.

Jasmine developed a strategic plan to service Cincinnatians by posting her daily itinerary on social media and traveling to those locations where her loyal customers awaited her arrival, snapping up the unique, flavorful desserts they were becoming accustomed to. Jasmine also used the truck to fulfill customer orders.

Sweet Jazz Treats Bakery Show

She understood that traversing the city in her colorful food truck while most people were stationary in their homes due to COVID was like a mobile billboard, expanding her brand and putting her business top-of-mind for prospective customers who were ordering most of their food for delivery during that period.

Davis makes it clear that her initial marketing strategy emphasized the quality and uniqueness of her products, not her personality, ethnicity, or gender. Thus, her business instincts were once again spot on.

As January and February are typically her slowest months, Jasmine used those eight weeks to conduct a truck tour. She moved about the city in her food truck to further spread Sweet Jazz Treats brand awareness and earn profits at a time when revenue might otherwise have been dormant. Since the cold weather meant no organic crowds on the streets, Ms. Davis visited buildings where large numbers of people were present and active.

Earlier this year, Jasmine decided to prioritize Cincinnati High School as venues she would visit daily in her food truck. Besides allowing her to expand her customer base by introducing younger consumers to her products, this was also an opportunity for Davis to engage youth regarding entrepreneurship as a career option. As well, her policy to donate 10% of revenue generated from sales during her visits to those schools is also beneficial to the students.

On a recent visit to Roger Bacon High School, a Franciscan Catholic school in Cincinnati, her engagement with the students was so inspiring that the school’s administration invited her back for an assembly to formally address the student body on entrepreneurship. Sweet Jazz Treats also has an arrangement with Cincinnati Public Schools to administer a summer 2024 cooking trades internship in cooperation with the local community services program, Citylink, and the City of Cincinnati.

Jasmine Davis’s entrepreneurial journey continues with the anticipated opening of her brick & mortar location scheduled to complete construction in the fall in the Walnut Hills community of Cincinnati. Affectionately known by her friends as the Grant Queen, Jasmine was able to secure funding for her new storefront from GCMI (Greater Cincinnati Microenterprise Initiative) and the City of Cincinnati. Due to her superior baking and merchandising skills, Jazmine also earned a $10,000 grant in March 2024 from the Gran Coramino Tequila culinary competition, sponsored by founder and co-owner, comedian Kevin Hart, which she is applying toward the development of her new facility.

Gran Coramino Tequila was launched by Hart in partnership with Juan Domingo Beckmann, a Mexican businessman and chief executive officer of José Cuervo liquor distributors. Ms. Davis’s grant was one of 50 awarded nationwide, with Jasmine the only winner from Ohio. The prestigious grant program was administered by LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation), a non-profit community development financial institution founded by the Ford Foundation in 1979.

Jasmine met her benefactor, Kevin Hart when he came to Cincinnati in March 2024 to do a comedy show. She was given prime seats at the show and invited backstage afterward, where Mr. Hart could not resist ordering a custom cake. What started out as a dilemma presented by her doctor to choose whether her profession would be her priority, Jasmine saw as a choice between “pain and passion.” Passion won.

Your Turn

Jasmine’s commitment to her faith and her willingness to take bold steps toward her goals are truly inspiring. If you’re on the fence about starting your own business, ask yourself: what’s holding you back? Is it fear, uncertainty, or a lack of resources? Take a moment to reflect on your deepest passions and the impact you want to make in the world. Share your thoughts and any obstacles you’re facing in the comments, and let’s support each other in taking that next step.

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Doctor’s Advice Sparks Sweet Success: Sweet Jazz Treats

Doctor’s Advice Sparks Sweet Success: Sweet Jazz Treats

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