Women in Business: Michelle Hines-Tomlinson of Baby Bundts
Michelle Hines-Tomlinson, owner of Baby Bundts, makes beautiful gluten-free bundt cakes in an array of tantalizing flavors in Vermont. You can find her products at our South Burlington, Vermont store.
1.) What’s your business’ origin story? How did it all start?
I’m a pastry chef and have been making cakes and wedding cakes with what seems like a lifetime (20 years). About 3 years ago, my business made a huge turn and being asked to bake gluten free. I started to think about a retail product, as a chef, you are always looking to create a retail product at the end of the day. Started playing more with ancient grains, nut flours, and other gluten free flours. I found what I liked and really disliked. I ate a lot of products on the market and realized that if I was to make a good one it needed to be smooth, rich, nice on the palette, flavorful , not too sweet, and the correct size. Huge task. Recipes were played with, combinations created, and baby bundts were born.
2.) What is the most rewarding part of owning your own business?
You always get the final say… of course, you also get all of the headaches. You have to have the deep spirit to be an entrepreneur. It’s the greatest thing in the world and Vermont is the most nurturing place to fly with your dreams.
3.) What are some of the challenges?
In the beginning you need to be everything- producer, marketer, accountant, and the face of your company. It can be exhausting and very overwhelming.
4.) Name one company or business owner that you really admire and why.
Jan’s Farmhouse Crisps. Jan created a very specialty cracker before gourmet crackers were a thing, and since then a lot of people have copied her technique and idea. Think about how many crackers she needed to cut- paper thin to make a box? She is headstrong, passionate, and very kind. She was a great role model for me because I remember when the product first came into markets and then she was everywhere. Plus she has kindly sat down with me and helped with areas that I was such a newbie to that my head was spinning.
5.) What advice do you have for other women out there that might be thinking of starting their own endeavor?
Just Do it!
If you have a good product and passion, it will all work. It’s hard work, but to be a woman today is a great thing. We have everything at our fingertips. Take advantage of all that is offered and always remain grateful!