Women in Business: Claire Georges of Butterfly Bakery of Vermont
Claire Georges owns Butterfly Bakery of Vermont, crafting amazing hot sauces and baked treats. She sources many ingredients, like peppers and maple syrup, directly from local Vermont farmers. You can find her products in both of our stores, including two brand new hot sauces create exclusively for Healthy Living.
1.) What’s your business’ origin story? How did it all start?
I started the bakery because I wanted to make food for folks who can’t eat all the same foods as everyone else that actually tastes like it was made for everyone else. I built my business slowly, but in 2011 I started making hot sauce as a fun little farmers market side gig. It quickly became more popular than I could keep up with. So I started asking farmers to grow peppers specifically for me. Every year I would run out of peppers and need to order more until now, when I am the number one purchaser of Vermont grown chili peppers and hot sauce is over 50% of my business.
2.) What is the most rewarding part of owning your own business?
I love feeling like “I did this.” I’m employing people, I’m creating something that people I’ve never met have a personal connection to. I’ve taken something that didn’t exist before and making it a thing.
3.) What are some of the challenges?
There’s always “something.” Something is breaking, something didn’t arrive, something didn’t ship, something didn’t go as planned. But I’ve discovered that I’m good at solving those problems and that feels good.
4.) Name one company or business owner that you really admire and why.
John and Jen at The Alchemist. They have this amazing product that everyone covets, but they’re also really cool people doing really amazing things. Their employees love them and never want to leave. They donate enormous amounts of money to charity. They really care about being good stewards of the world that they live in. And they’re genuinely nice people.
5.) What advice do you have for other women out there that might be thinking of starting their own endeavor?
Starting a business seems like a lot. And in a way it is. But really it’s not. It’s one step and then another and then another. If you enjoy the journey, it stops being overwhelming. So, do your research and then get doing.