This is the latest entry in a series from Report on Small Business called Who Owns That. We've asked readers to identify their favourite small businesses from across Canada, and we track down the owners so they can tell us their stories. The answers are edited.
Introducing Kat Brazier, co-founder and co-owner with her brother, Kris Kokosarevic, of Mississauga, Ont.-based Cake Royale Inc..
Question: Let's start with the basics. Can you briefly describe your business, including when it was founded, what it does, how big it is, and number of locations?
Answer: In 2007, my brother, Kris, and I decided to open up a small café in Streetsville, Mississauga, showcasing our wonderful desserts that are baked daily from scratch only using the finest ingredients. Since then, the café has grown into a full-service establishment serving lunches, fresh crepes, cupcakes and lots more.
We take great pride in satisfying our customers' needs. Once Kris and I decided to set up shop, our main focus was quality. This has grown and continues to grow, not only [in] our company but, most importantly, the trust our customers have in us to be part of their special events. Our café can accommodate 30 guests and we have a team of four to six. Cake Royale currently has one location in the heart of Mississauga, Streetsville, with plans for expansion.
Q: What inspired you to be an entrepreneur and to enter this industry?
A: My previous career was in sales and Kris was in construction. We both realized growing up, that Kris and I were so fortunate to be spoiled with many amazing desserts. We wanted everyone to have an opportunity to experience our baka's (grandmother's) recipes as we did. Therefore, Cake Royale was established.
Q: Who are your typical customers, and how do they find you?
A: We have a wide range of customers, ranging in age and ethnicity. Our customers typical find us through word of mouth and referrals from local businesses, local ads and reviews, people taking a walk through [the] village, social media and our new online line ordering website: www.cakeroyalecafé .com.
Q: How many employees do you have, and what is your role in the business?
A: Kris, who graduated from Humber College's business management program, manages the day-to-day operations at the shop, and I graduated from George Brown College's culinary arts program and am the head pastry chef and creative director.
Q: You've been identified by one of our readers as a standout business. What do you consider the key element of your success?
A: Quality, quality and more quality. We truly stand behind our products and would never compromise [on] the quality and consistency. We value our customers' loyalty and support greatly. Cake Royale is a family business. We take great pride in everything we offer, and appreciate all the compliments that are received, but, truly, our customers are the ones that deserve the thank you. You make us who we are today.
Do you have a favourite small business you'd like to learn more about? Make suggestions and join the conversation on the Globe's Small Business LinkedIn group, use the comments field, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow the series on our Pinterest page.