We recently connected with Stephanie Garza and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Stephanie thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. Your ability to build a team is often a key determinant of your success as a business owner and so we’d love to get a conversation going with successful entrepreneurs like yourself around what your recruiting process was like -especially early on. How did you build your team?
For the first year, it was just Mark and myself. We had to coordinate grocery shopping, prep days, sales days, clean up, ordering and maintenance all on our own, plus caring for our kids and managing our home. We planned to hire in stages, but when I knew I had to have hip surgery we had to speed up the process.
Hiring was nerve-racking, because we didn’t know if we could find people who would be as passionate about our business as we were, not to mention experienced bakers. We decided to be flexible and just see what would happen.
We were blessed to find an opening and closing manager right off the bat, and they are both as excited about growing Planted as we ever could be. We have incorporated their recipes and ideas in several aspects of our business, because we believe their knowledge and skill sets are vital parts of our team as a whole.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
We are Mark and Stephanie Garza, Owners of Planted Bakery. We were in construction before opening Planted, but we have baker’s blood in our veins. We are woman and minority-owned and proud to be voted Neighborhood Favorite in 2020 and 2021 on NextDoor.
We are the only 100% vegan bakery in Fort Worth. Other bakeries offer vegan options, and other vegan restaurants offer baked goods, but we are the only full-service vegan bakery in this city. We do hope as the vegan movement grows in Fort Worth that will change!
We want our customers to enjoy decadent bakery treats with no animal products at reasonable prices. We offer a full range of bread loaves and boules, pastry, cakes, cupcakes, cookies and lunch items such as sandwiches and Pepperoni Rolls.
Any advice for growing your clientele? What’s been most effective for you?
We decided early on to serve the freshest items possible, so we do not bake previously frozen items. We have tried it in a pinch, and it never ends well. We believe this is incorporated into our reputation for just-out-of-the-oven treats, and our customers taste the difference. Our product quality has to take presidence over convenience. We also decided early on to never take advantage of our customers by charging ridiculous prices for items that don’t take time or costly ingredients to make. If we have to inflate our prices to cover our bills or staff, we are doing something wrong on our end. Our customers should never have to pay for that. We hear on a regular basis how affordable we are and how disappointed people are when they feel taken advantage of by a restaurant they use to frequent but can’t afford to anymore.
Can you tell us about a time you’ve had to pivot?
We spent decades in the construction industry, which seemed like a life-long sealed deal until COVID hit. The directions we were being asked to take were not sustainable for our family, and we had to make the heartbreaking decision to close our company and start over on a completely new path. All we knew was how to start a business and how to cook good vegan food, and it grew from there. We were scared. Our kids were scared. But we just laid it out and jumped in head first through every door that opened.
- Website: www.plantedbakery.com
- Instagram: plantedbakeryfw
- Facebook: PlantedBakery