Title: Owner of Whisk bakery and Scoop ice cream shop. Whisk is a bakery at 2100 E. Main St. in Shockoe Bottom specializing in scratch-baked pastries and breads and gourmet sandwiches. Scoop is a small-batch ice cream shop at 403 Strawberry St., churning signature and seasonal ice creams on-site.
Born: 1987 in Jacksonville, Fla., and raised in Virginia Beach
Education: Bachelor of arts in English literature, University of Virginia, 2009; Grand Diplôme in professional pastry arts, French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center), 2011
Career: Legal Assistant, Kalfus & Nachman, 2009; case manager, The McCammon Group, 2009-2010, senior case manager, 2012-2015; intern, Baker Tribeca Treats, 2010-2011; pastry chef, The Jefferson Hotel, 2011-2012; owner, Sugar Baking Co., 2012-2015; owner, Whisk, 2015-present; owner, Scoop, 2018-present
What part of the metro area do you live?: West End
Best business decision: “Hiring excellent staff.”
Worst business decision: “I greatly underestimated just how busy we would be when Whisk opened, so we were woefully understaffed. This resulted in me working 100 hours a week for months, and let’s just say, I was not my best self. To everyone who had to deal with that delirious shell of a person, thank you and my apologies.”
Mistake you learned the most from: “I’d like to say I learned my lesson about staffing, but even with a better estimation, when Scoop opened, the customer response was overwhelming. I found myself back in the kitchen, churning ice cream daily and making waffle cones practically to order. But what I learned at both Whisk and Scoop is that dedicating so much hands-on time to every facet of the business results in an intimate knowledge of both businesses that is invaluable and irreplaceable.”
What is the biggest challenge/opportunity in the next two to five years: “Balancing growth with maintaining quality and consistency.”
First job after college: Legal assistant at Kalfus & Nachman in Norfolk.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently: “While I cringe to think of all the build-out changes, production mistakes, long days, and literal blood, sweat, and tears shed over the past three years, I also subscribe to the notion that things happen for a reason. If I had done anything differently, I don’t know if we’d be in the same place we are today.”
Movie or book that inspired you the most, and why?: “Kim Scott’s writing about ‘Radical Candor’ really influenced the way I think about employee guidance and feedback. And Meryl Streep’s bakery in ‘It’s Complicated’ movie is basically my dream space realized.”
Favorite/least favorite subject in school: Favorite: English. “I’ve always loved to read, so getting credit for something I loved to do anyway sort of felt like cheating.”