Auzerais went from baking for friends to building a DTC bakery empire in a week. Yes, you read that right. This exponential growth has been documented by multiple publications. Currently, Blondery ships over 75,000 shipments per week nationwide.
So how did this huge success happen, and how does Auzerais handle it all? We sat with her in a conversation to learn about her brand – Blondery.
Can you tell us about yourself and how Blondery came into formation? Also, what’s your typical workday at Blondery?
I was a pastry chef, for about 10 years, I worked in some fine dining restaurants such as the French Laundry, and Busan bakery. And I started making the blondies and sending them back home to my friends and family. And I ended up opening up a website and selling over 500 orders within a two-week timeframe. I knew from that point on that I had something special.
Can you tell us how the transition happened? How did you make the decision that you have to start a website?
It didn’t start as a full-time business. It just started as something I did, just during the holidays. And no one I would say I guess no one but also everyone kind of pushed me to do this. But I could say the most pivotal moment was when I was a personal assistant. And I had made some blondies for my client; he took them to his office and he came back I think the next day and was like, everyone loves the blondies. Do you mean? Like, let me see your Instagram, and I was showing him what I had done on Instagram. He’s like, I think if you focus more on your photography and your marketing, I think you’ll have a valid business soon. So that’s exactly what I did, like my first photo shoot, I paid like $300 for it.
Since you have mentioned building your brand on Instagram, do you have any tips for brands looking to grow a following on Instagram, especially cloud kitchens, and people who are in D2C and food business together?
I don’t necessarily have a strategy. I post whenever I feel like coasting and it’s probably not a great thing but my audience that’s continuing to grow. Maybe I’m doing something right. And I guess, in the beginning, my goal was to stand out and be as authentic to myself as possible. A lot of bakeries are typically marketed to very pink or blue or very, like, feminine colors. And I went the opposite route and took the darker, mysterious approach to my marketing, which I think helped us stand out a lot when Instagram got started because I started my page in 2018.
You just mentioned your business grew exponentially within a week, and you had a lot of orders once you opened your website. So how did you handle the exponential scaling up?
It was definitely overwhelming at the time, I had roommates, and I was baking from home. So they were not happy with how much I was baking in our kitchen. But eventually, you bribe them with some treats to make them okay with the arrangement. And I would say, there’s never really a right way to do it. I maxed out a few credit cards and got some really nice packaging made. And you know, it’s a constant evolution scaling up, it’s, I would say, I’m still technically scaling up now.
And that leads us to the next question, how is it working as a single person out of your home from the comfort of your house, to scale up to be a team? How do operations work right now since you’re shipping nationwide a perishable good?
I did, I went from working in my home to renting kitchen space by the hour to renting kitchen space by the month. And now I just signed a 10-year lease for a space of my own. So I’ve done all the shared kitchens up until today.