Interview with Elizabeth Toepfer, Owner of Lizzie Bobs Sweets from Scratch Bakery Business & More

June 23, 2022 Steve Denny/ Elizabeth Toepfer
Interview with Elizabeth Toepfer, Owner of Lizzie Bobs Sweets from Scratch Bakery Business & More
Show Notes Transcript

Lizzie is a self-taught baker with an Associates and Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. She learned to bake at the age of 12. Her Aunt Marilyn owned The Pie Pantry in Belleville, IL from the 70 s to the late 80’s.  Lizzie Bob’s is a combination of her and her husband’s names. Lizzie Bob’s is a woman owned, family run business. The business started in 2013 with selling a loaf of banana bread at a farmers market stand.

Lizzie is known for her pies,  cookies, jumbo cinnamon rolls, pecan sticky buns, scones, and custom cakes. Bob is the bread baker, making lots of varieties  of homemade yeast breads. Lizzie started making homemade ICE CREAM in 2018, and it is available in store by the container, as well as on the MOBILE BAKERY TRAILER for events. Every Wednesday is test kitchen day at the bakery.  Lizzie and Bob are always creating new and exciting products and services for their customers.

Our NEW GLUTEN FREE MENU ITEMS are now available in store, made fresh to order, and available on our Mobile Bakery Trailer for events!  Our daughter Isabella, recently diagnosed with celiac disease, LOVES all of our NEW GLUTEN FREE products.  She is the official taste tester.  While we are NOT a dedicated Allergy Free Bakery, we do make every effort to keep a safe work area when making Gluten Free products.  Checkout our FB and Instagram for daily offerings at the bakery.

Since 2020, Lizzie Bobs Bakery has been offering FROZEN MEALS to go from their in store freezer.  A homemade meal is readily available every Tuesday-Saturday.  Just defrost, heat, and serve. They are perfect for busy professionals, families, couples, and available in single serve or service for 4.

Essentials like Local Raw Honey and Local BBQ Seasoning and Sauce are available on our Small Business Shelf.  We will be adding more Local Business items when we Re Open in our NEW location this July!

Fresh Take and Bake PIZZA can be Pre Ordered 48 hours in advance for pickup in store before 3 PM.  Make any night pizza night with Bob’s Fresh pizza or his frozen pizza dough so you can have your own pizza party at home.

You can purchase directly ONLINE through our E Commerce site, under the SHOP NOW tab with 48 hour notice for pickup in store (when opened in July 2022) or on the Mobile Bakery Trailer.

Lizzie Bobs Bakery MOBILE BAKERY FOOD TRAILER, is available for events, markets, birthday parties, neighborhood parties, corporate events, and business luncheons!  Contact us at 618-589-3770 to reserve.  A non refundable $50 reservation fee is required when booking your date.

Lizzie Bobs Bakery is MOVING to a BIGGER AND BETTER LOCATION in the heart of Fairview Heights to serve the best customers.  We cannot wait to open the doors to our new location at 5500 North Illinois Street Suite C on HWY 159.  You will still be able to place orders for your favorite items and we will schedule a time to meet up with you.  We are also bringing a lot of your favorite items to our Mobile Bakery Events, so shop Farmers Markets in Maryville, Collinsville, and New Baden! Follow along for Updates on FB and Instagram.

Lizzie Bob’s Sweets From Scratch  appreciates the opportunity to be of service to you for all your Sweets, Catering, Meals, and Party needs.

Make All of Life’s Special Occasions Sweeter. Contact US today! 618-589-3770 Order Online at


Welcome to the You Don't Know What You Don't Know podcast, by Innovative Business Advisors, successful business owners who have started, grown and led businesses share their journey and direction for the benefit of those traveling the same path.



Well, when we began sharing with our friends and associates that we were going to start a podcast to focus on successful business owners, the great banker friend of ours by the name of John Vitale said, you absolutely must talk with Lizzie. And as a result of that recommendation, I'm very excited to have as our guest today, Elizabeth Toepfer. Elizabeth and her husband Bob own the famous Lizzy Bob's Bakery in Fairview Heights, Illinois. Elizabeth, ie Lizzie, is a self-taught baker and her husband Bob is the bread maker in the business. The business has expanded rapidly from baked goods to homemade ice cream to a complete line of gluten free fresh and frozen items. The stores also expanded into frozen homemade meals to go which are available Tuesdays through Saturdays. In addition to that they offer fresh hot pizza and lasagna meals. The business has expanded from a single storefront to a mobile bakery food trailer and they have a growing online ecommerce business. So, listen in while Lizzy shares with us how she took her love for baking and combined it with her college business degrees to establish and lead a thriving business. Welcome, Elizabeth. I’ve really been looking forward to this.



Thank you, Steven. I'm very happy to be here.



Well, we are honored that you would take the time out of your very busy schedule, and spend a little bit of time with us. I know that baker’s hours usually start, start early and go along into the day.



Right, around 3am. 3am. Okay. Wow,



that is pretty early. Outstanding. Well, listen, tell me about the moment you first decided that you wanted to go into this business. Do you remember that moment?



I was, I mean, if I could rewind to when I was 12, my mom taught me how to make my first apple pie. I fell in love with baking and cooking like at that very moment. And fast forward to you know, becoming an Air Force spouse and being the one that everyone came to for a meal, whether it was you know, dinner or dessert, just because they needed something, I was always happy to donate my time and my gifts and bring them something to make them bellies full and then have big smiles on their face. But in 2013, I graduated from EIU with my associates and bachelors in business management. My husband also went through as well. And he graduated with his and I said, what do I do now? And he said, start a business. Because you love to cook and bake. Why not start a bakery? Initially, actually, it was going to be a catering company, or a personal chef. Because I love to teach people how to cook. I love to show people, you know, this is what you do with these fresh ingredients. But yeah, baking was always in my my fore thoughts because of my mom teaching me. My aunt Marilyn owned The Pie Pantry in downtown Belleville back in the 70s and 80s. I remember sitting at the kitchen counter and watching them making pies and and just smelling all those wonderful smells. And it just it brings you back to those wonderful memories. And that's what I hope our products do for the customers who receive them.



How cool. So this is a family tradition. It's in the genes. You couldn't get away from it. Yeah. Well, that's pretty neat. I think we all have somebody's kitchen that we love to hang around with, right. And usually it's the best cook in the neighborhood. Sounds like, sounds like you were that person in your in your circle?



Sometimes, yeah.



Well, cool. Cool. So how many years have you guys had the, had the business now?



We've been at our retail location for six years, it's been an incredible milestone for us to reach. I'm super excited. I mean, they say, you know, most new businesses, they'll fail within the first five years or they'll be profitable or not profitable. So it's a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication, I work even when I'm not working. I'm thinking about it all the time. And I even keep a notebook by the side of the bed, if I just come up with ideas for things. So yeah, we're really, really proud of every success that we've gotten no matter how big or small.



That's really something special too because, as you well know, you know, less than half of the businesses that start make it through their first year, and of those that make it beyond their first year of business, more than half of those die before they make it to year five. So you guys are over the hump, you're, you're you're doing really well. That's awesome. Yeah. What are you most proud of in your business?



So everything is made from scratch. I do not use mixes, I do not use preservatives. So what we offer is something very unique that you can't find anywhere else. We use fresh local ingredients. We go through 32 dozen eggs a week. Wow. We go through about that much, that many pounds of butter per week, we use real heavy cream, fresh fruit, fresh, you know everything. We like to support other local small businesses like our local farmers. We buy all of our eggs from Becker Eggs in Germantown, we also sell them at our store. I pride myself on people walking in the door and saying, Oh, I just need to pick up a cake, go pick it up from the back in the freezer. No, you're not going to get a frozen cake like the grocery store. This is a in the name Lizzie Bob Sweets from Scratch. So when you order something, it's made fresh to order for the day that you want it. Because I want you to taste the quality, I want you to see the quality. And that really unique niche is what I think has kept us going.



Yeah, that's, that's quite a difference. I mean, so many, so many of the outlets today are are utilizing you know mixes and prepackaged items and kind of heat and serve. That's, that's kind of the standard in the restaurant business. But you are the traditional way. And John was also sharing with me that one of your hallmarks is how how strong you are in the local community and using other suppliers in the local community, which is, which is really a blessing to your community.



Oh, most definitely, you know, local farmers, local stores around us, other small businesses. We'd like to hopefully start classes soon at Cafe Biz, they're just down the street. She's a woman owned business as well. She's a military spouse as well. And she has a great venue for us to do some decorating classes or freezer meal classes. And we've had a lot of interest from our customers. So, and I love to teach.



Hey, that'd be cool. That would be really neat. Yeah. Awesome, awesome. Well, your business, outside of the fact that you you source everything local, and you make everything fresh, are there, is there anything else that you would consider to make your business really special or different from any other bakery that you've ever known?



I think the fact that we offer customer service, first and foremost, that is 100%. The very first thing when you walk in the door, you're at Lizzy Bob's Bakery. I'm Lizzy, that's Bob, the only two people that work here. And sometimes we have to stay late after we close, because we're so busy talking to our customers, because everyone is like family. I mean, I'm a Sicilian at heart. And when you walk in, I want to feed you, I want you to be happy, I want you to come back. And it's been such a blessing and six years to turn our customers into friends. I mean, it's lifelong relationships, and we care about them and, and they ask us about us and our family and our kids. And it's just wonderful. And I think that's something that a lot of other retail stores are lacking is in customer service. And that is the number one priority, especially for retaining your loyal customers. But not only that, just building relationships that are just going to last even through retirement, you know?



Yeah, I think, I think you're right. I, you know, there are lots of, lots of people that say that they focus on customer relationships, right, but you really make it personal. So it's you're really building relations with your customers as well. That’s what I'm hearing you say, yeah, that's phenomenal. You're, it's also interesting, your menu has grown substantially. So when you started, were you solely baked goods? Or did you just have just have a line of baked goods and, and, and then talk to me about how you've kind of branched that out over time.



So yeah, when we first opened, it was like the most nerve wracking day of my life. We were driving to work at three o'clock in the morning, and I looked over to Bob, like, what are we doing? Why are we doing this? I said, Yeah, you need to pull over because either I'm gonna like turn around and walk home or I'm just going to be sick. But yeah. Oh my gosh, yeah. And I'm a very people person. And I like to pretend that I'm not afraid of anything, but oh my gosh, that was the most frightening moment in my whole life. But yeah, we started out with just pastries. So like fresh scones, cakepops, cookies, slices of cheesecake. You know, a few things here and there. Our first day I didn't know what to make because I didn't know what people would want. So I filled the cases and by one o'clock we had sold out everything and I was just like, Wow what just happened here? We just had like every customer in Fairview Heights and O'Fallon just came through here and bought everything. But just as, yeah, as the months went on, and the years went on, we noticed a bigger need, and then our customers would tell us, hey, would you make anything without sugar? Would you make anything without gluten? What about dairy free? And funny thing is I'm lactose intolerant, have been for 26 years, so I feel the pain of those that can't have dairy. But Bob is a great taste tester when it comes to certain things that I can’t eat. And of course, our kids are teenagers. They'll, they'll tell us the truth no matter what. But um, yeah, we started making ice cream I'd say in 2018. Everyone was like, Hey, do you guys make ice cream? I said No, but sure, why not? So I started making it in the KitchenAid mixers. I make it with real cream, milk, sugar and real vanilla. Wow. And then we just add in, you know, chocolate, vanilla. We threw in gooey butter cake into ice cream. We throw fudge brownies in there. Now we do boozy ones. We do maple bourbon pecan with bourbon soaked pecans in there. We're coming out with a tequila lime ice cream. And then 2020 I mean, everyone who walked in the door, I don't know how to cook. Can you make me something to eat that I can take home to my family? I know you can cook, Lizzie. And I'm like, Well, sure. So we started with lasagna and I was just like Bob, this is the moment. This is what it originally was going to be the catering company and I wanted people to have meals they could take home to their family. So it started with beef lasagna, then it was Mexican chicken lasagna. Then it was chicken pot pies, shepherd's pies, sausage penne, chicken alfredo. And then Bob, he's from West Virginia, their staple food is the pepperoni roll. It's it's a giant pizza roll in your hand. So he started making those. So you can get all those in the freezer. And then our gluten free customers, our daughter included, she has celiac. So everything that we make that's gluten free she has personally taste tested. And she's 15 and very honest. So if she doesn't like it, then we don't sell it. What's your



daughter's name?






So do you have the Isabella approved stamp that goes on, that goes on the package?



Yeah, you know, that's a great idea. We should have a stamp made. Yeah, but yeah, we also added a refrigerator. Because everyone was asking for farm eggs. Because you know, during 2020 I don't know why but bread, eggs and milk were always just the hottest commodity. And so we started selling the farm eggs. And then other local small businesses like the Blessed Bee that sells hand salve. And then our honey producer from Belleville, we sell his honey, Johnny sauce and seasoning out of Freeburg. We just love building relationships with other small businesses and supporting them and they support us and it's great.



It's awesome. I want to, I want to talk a lot about the effect of the pandemic because most people, particularly those that are in the retail business really, really cringe. But I think your your story's a little bit different. But I want to come back to that in a few minutes. You know, every business owner when they first start, they they probably have challenges that they didn't first see that they've got to overcome early. When you first started your business did you have that experience? Did you, did you expect it to be one way and then different challenges kind of popped up?



I mean, money was always the issue. We're a small business, we invested our entire savings into this business. And I've since paid Bob back. After 10 years, he's finally gotten his truck back. Nice, very nice. He suffered through too many vans just to get to that truck. So but yeah, cashflow it was always the very beginning. You know, money. How are we going to do this? How are we going to pay the bills? How are we going to pay the rent and the utilities? How are we going to buy the materials that we need to produce the product? And in the beginning, it was hard. I mean, it was, we were making the money and turning right back around and spending it and put it back into the business. So we weren't paying ourselves. We were working 12 to 14 hours a day. It was easy to burn out but I kept thinking, You know we started this, we're not quitters. We're gonna keep going. And then all of a sudden, you know, it just, growth started happening. We started getting new customers, loyal customers, they were telling their friends, more people were coming in. We were, you know, creating new products and services and right now we're looking into expansion. So we have the mobile bakery trailer. And we just want to go everywhere with it. Like last August, we launched it. And it's been so great getting out in different communities meeting different people. And it's so fun to be like, Oh, where are you located at? I want to come to your bakery. Or, Wow, I can get stuff right off your food trailer. And it's not a food truck. I have to tell people that it's a six by 12 trailer with a fridge, a freezer and a microwave. We make everything at our bakery, we package it up and we sell it right out. So unlike a food truck where you're waiting 20 minutes for a taco. You say hey, I'd like a cake pop, a slice of pie, slice of cheesecake. We get it. You pay for it. You're good to go.



You bring all the sweet treats to the events. Yeah,



yeah, definitely. That's cool.



When you, I imagine with your multiple business degrees, you probably started with a business plan, did you?



Yes, I started with SIUE with Joanne Maggio, incredible, incredible person. Yeah. Of course, I was introduced to her by John Vitale. Oh, really? Who has introduced me to, he introduced me to so many more people, to SCORE mentors. And it's really the business mentors in my life from the very beginning. I wanted to jump right in and start that retail store right when I had this concept in 2013. And they kept saying no, you have to wait, you know, you need to build a following, you need to have a customer base. You can't just open a store and nobody knows who you are. And boy, that patience grew thin with me. I just, when I want to do something, I want it like right now. But yeah, I mean, our business plan started off with just, let's make enough money so that we can build a customer base. And then it's like, Okay, now that we have that customer base, now we want to open a retail store. And Joanne helped me with all the demographics, she helped me with all the different, you know, things that we need. And I put together my first business plan and, and her services were free. So that was amazing for a small business entrepreneur like me. And I highly recommend her to everybody who wants to start a business or become an entrepreneur, especially women. Our business is 100% woman owned. It's in, you know, my name. Bob is is listed as a manager and Vice President. But he tells everyone he's a glorified dishwasher.



And bread baker.



And bread baker.



Well, that's really cool. Yeah, that's, as I said before, John is, John is a great banker. And one of the things I think makes him great is that he's more than just a money salesperson. He does plug you in to, you know, a whole resource of people. And he's such a giver in that regard. That's why we love to be associated with with John, and folks like him. And I'm with you 100%. I think SCORE is the best kept secret for small business. It astounds me that business owners are not, you know, beating a, beating a path to their door every day. We're like you, we’re huge cheerleaders of that organization. They do great work. And the price is right, right?



Oh, definitely. Yeah. It's always interesting to hear from industry leaders, who are not necessarily in the food business, but who have done multiple other businesses and telling you, these were my challenges. These are my successes. This is how you can get to that point. And just like to be your biggest cheerleader to have that support is just amazing.



Isn't it funny, though, you mentioned you know, money is your biggest issue, even though you put a lot of work into the plan, right? And you build a nice plan. The business never ever follows the plan. Exactly. So you got to learn how to kind of pivot, right, and work through it. Yes. Sounds like you guys are real successful at that.



So if you're talking about 2020, the the era of missing toilet paper and yes, we when we opened the doors, we had two tables with chairs. So we had seating for eight. People could come in and have lunch, because we also serve lunch. You know, homemade chicken salad, BLT, candied BLT is on Bob's homemade bread and people would sit there and enjoy their lunch and it was great. And then no one was allowed to come in. So instead of you know, oh, we need to lock our doors and shut down like everybody else. No, we are not going to do that. We are a small business. This is our livelihood. I refuse to go down with the ship. So we got rid of those tables and chairs. We put in a giant freezer and ice cream freezer. We bought a refrigerator so we started making the freezer meals, we started making the ice cream and selling the eggs and the milk and everything else that went along with it. We offered local delivery within five miles, we offered curbside pickup, if you wanted to call ahead and we'd get your entire order ready, no contact, just pay over the phone. And we'll bring it out to you with a mask and a smile. And that is really what saved us in 2020. And really launched the freezer meals and everything else that keeps rippling off of that, that we keep making new products all the time. And really listening to our customers. A lot of people will, you know, go into business, oh, I wish you had something like this. And instead of writing it off, I actually have a notebook that I write down everything people asked me. And I thought, Okay, can I make this possible? That's what test kitchen Wednesday is for. And there's a lot of successes, and there are a lot of failures.



But that is failure. Failure is the route to success, right?



Absolutely. And in 2020 Ironically, our sales were up 20%. So say that again, will you please? In 2020 our sales were up 20%.



Right. So the world locks down. Nobody can basically socialize anymore. Retailers, millions of retailers go out of business, and your sales are up 20% because you listened to your customers and you adjusted to what they needed. Yes. Phenomenal. Talk a little bit more about that. Is that how, is that continued since 2020? Here we are in 2022. Is that, are you still seeing growth trends in your business?



Yes. Now that we have the mobile bakery trailer, a lot of people are asking us, Hey, can you come to my house for a birthday party? Wow. Or can you teach my kids how to decorate a cupcake? Or are you going to offer any classes? We'd really like to learn. And I mean, I love to teach and I would love to keep doing that. And yeah, the freezer meals have grown exponentially with to just a few little lasagna as to a multiple offerings that we are restocking like on a weekly basis. So I'm, you know, sourcing different grocery stores and local farmers for all of our ingredients, because some of them are still kind of hard to find. But it's really interesting to hear people come in, Oh, you know, I really like this meal, do you think you could make this? Or when I was, you know, so old, my grandma used to make this certain cake and and I can't find this cake anymore? And you think you can make it? And I'm on there googling, what is this? So, anyway to just help our customers in any way possible and to retain their business and their loyalty. And it's just been a phenomenal ride. I mean, I just I still can't believe we're at this point, that we want to grow even bigger, and no, there won't be another location. But the mobile bakery trailer will get us out to different communities and hopefully maybe a different location. We have been looking for different spots to move to that are maybe a little bigger, because we are busting at the seams in our 1000 square foot retail space.



Wow, yeah, I'll bet. So it's fascinating. Your first challenge when you first start is money, which is every single business's first challenge, very rare for that not to be it. And as a matter of fact, you know, the SBA statistics, we'll share with you that most of them don't make it because they never get over that hurdle. But you got over that hurdle. And things are going along fairly well. And then all of a sudden, the pandemic comes to visit and you got to make a huge change in your business, and adjust everything you're doing not only your product mix, but the way you even serve your customers, right? Yes. And figure it all out and have to deal with the supply issues that everybody else is dealing with just on a on a different scale. So now that things are becoming a little more kind of back to normal for you guys, as you're creating this new normal in your business, what are what are some of the current challenges you're facing these days? What's, what is, what has changed in that regard for you? Both, both more on the challenging side, and even on the positive side? So how would you, how would you address that?



Um, so like, lately, we've finally become stable enough where we can, you know, pay ourselves a decent wage, and that's awesome. I would love to eventually hire someone. Because we're constantly in the back making things and we always holler up through the pass through window, Be right there. Whenever we hear the little ding, ding, ding. And then Bob and I look at each other and he's like, it's your turn and I said, No, it's your turn. I'm right in the middle of something. You go. So yeah, I'd love to hire somebody.



What about your kids? Do they work in the business at all?



Oh, yeah. Bobby is 17 and Izzy is 15. And they work on Saturdays because they go to high school during the week. Nice. And of course, at first they were working for free, but now they're like, I think we need to get paid. So I've been paying them. They were just getting tips, but now I'm giving them a little wage for working on Saturdays. But you know, you can't, they're your kids, it's labor. And it's however they get paid is how they get paid. They live in our house for free.



Yep. That's what, but they have needs too, right? They want to go out and do some of that stuff.



Yeah. They do.



And that's cool. That's cool. Well, it sounds like, I'm kind of reading between the lines a little bit, it sounds like you know, your, your love of teaching, you're gonna have that opportunity. You originally had envisioned a catering business, you in effect, are doing catering. You’re catering meals to people's homes, you know, every Tuesday through Saturday, now, right? You've got, you've got a whole list of catering clients out there. So and



we could do hot meals too, like for people that don't want to defrost it and then put it in the oven. We can do a fresh hot pan of lasagna with homemade garlic breadsticks by Bob and some cookies. I also do roast chicken with potatoes, and you know, biscuits and everything. And he makes hot pizza. Bob's dream was always to have a pizza shop. So I'm like, go for it, buddy. So now we make three kinds of pizza with his homemade crest and Sass and, and people can order a hot fresh pizza if they want to pick up dinner and not have to cook or anything.



That's awesome. Wow, that's really cool. Really cool. So as you think about the future, you said, I heard you say a few minutes ago, you're you're not thinking about another real retail store. You're thinking about classes, you're thinking about taking, taking your mobile trailer to various locations and so forth. Right? What's the next? What do you envision as the next step of growth for your company?



So I'd also, I started a YouTube channel, still working on that. But I want to have a whole bunch of videos for, you know, making meals or cake decorating that people can subscribe to and maybe a little podcast or two. I don't know. But I've been writing a cookbook for like the past 10 years.



Excellent. Excellent. And are you, are most of the recipes, your own recipes? Yours, yours and Bob's recipes?



Yeah, it's it's kind of like I get inspiration from people on Instagram and Facebook and everywhere. And I think, Oh, how can I make that and you know, you Google a recipe or two, but then you turn it into your own. Like, I would take three or four different recipes, pick out the things that I like about them and then create it myself.



Yeah, and you have any test kitchen Wednesday, where you can go test those things, right, and see how they how they shake out.



Yeah, especially with the gluten free options. Test Kitchen Wednesday has been really huge for that. We use Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour blend. And I mean, it tastes just like the regular products that we make. I think so, Isabella loves them. Our regular gluten free customers are really happy with them. We now do gluten free birthday cakes, too. We've made several of those. And it's just really great. I mean, Test Kitchen Wednesday is a chance to make something that you read in a magazine or had an idea for and see if it works or not. Sometimes it's a success and sometimes it's a big failure.



But it's, but you gotta keep trying. You gotta keep trying. Yeah. Yeah. I'm with you, our daughter, our daughter has to eat gluten free and she's constantly bringing new gluten free items over to our house. It really is a challenge to find things that taste, what I would say is taste normal, that are that, are that, you know, tastes like we would expect them to taste in our, in our palate. That doesn't necessarily mean they're they're bad if they're different, but it just has a different, a different texture and a different taste than you would expect so.



Correct. Yeah. And with French macarons, it took me three years to master those. I tried multiple, you know, tips and recipes and ideas and I bought classes from people off of YouTube to learn how to do it and, and three years later, I finally feel like I've mastered it enough to make my own version of a French macaron. And people like them so must be doing something right.



Yeah, they're selling so now now you may become the teacher, right? Through YouTube or podcast or whatever?



Oh, yeah. I love love to teach people so you know, I figure if you can read, you can cook. That's my motto.



Fantastic. So as a business owner, I want you to switch hats a little bit from being kinda it sounds like you are a little bit of a chief everything officer, you're kind of the chief cook and bottle washer in the business, right? Yes. You, you and Bob do do everything in the business itself. As you continue to grow and thinking about, you know, building value in your business, because as you said, it's, you know, you wanted to want to make sure Bob got his truck. And now that he's got his truck, now we want to, are you you guys thinking about this business, we can build a retirement for ourselves in this business? Or what's your long range thinking?



So when I reach the point that I want to retire I would like to, you know, eventually finish that cookbook and sell that cookbook and be like, oh, you know, it's it's the bakery that we all grew up with and loved. And here's her cookbook, and, and now we have these treasured memories. My aunt Maryland did that before she passed away. And I, it is my prized possession is her her cookbook that she made. But yeah, like building retirement, you know, investing our profits that we're making. So that eventually, you know, Bob, and I can get a house out in the country and travel whenever we feel like it.



Awesome. Well, I think I think your thought process is really good. You're thinking first off, not only is your business going to have some value in it, that you're building, and in, you know, Lizzie Bob's bakery itself. But expanding that out to where you have books, maybe a YouTube channel where you're doing some teaching, and people can subscribe to learning how to do it. So you're thinking about multiple sources of revenue from your business. I think the people that are the most successful do that. They take, they take their core business and diversify that a little bit. And build value out over time. That's, that's outstanding. When, when, you know, when you think about business value, and you think about growing, you know, net worth in your company, what does that normally bring to mind for you.



Like growing and expanding, maybe investing or getting investors that would invest in our bakery, maybe making us a brand that is sold in grocery store. There you go. And see, you know, just a few of the items that are really popular like our our cinnamon rolls on Saturday, or pecan sticky buns, Bob's homemade bread. It's really fun and interesting to go to grocery stores for me, because I always look at what they're making. Or I'll go to other bakeries, like in Missouri or Illinois or anywhere else and be like, I can make that. Maybe I can make that better, you know? I don't know. Yeah. But yeah, it would be like really a dream come true to have, you know, something that says Lizzie Bob's Bakery sitting on a store shelf that somebody could buy. And then one of our customers would be like, Oh, my gosh, I know those people. Yeah, yeah.



I love the way you're thinking in that regard. You know, they're, they're typically we always say in our, in our work with our clients, there are basically seven legs of value in every business, right? So the profits that your business is producing, you're talking about investing those profits, right, to make those make those profits work for you into the future, either in your business or in other investment vehicles for your business. The growth is another leg of the stool, you're talking about growing into teaching, you're talking about growing into cookbooks, right. Writing books. You're talking about potentially growing into product distribution, where you have products with your name on them in stores and available in other outlets. All those things are really, really important. Your business model also, I think, what's really interesting about what you and Bob have accomplished so far, and what you have in front of you is you know, the when you think about a retail business like yours, a traditional bakery, people come in and buy things and then and then leave, right? So when, when you have a, when you have something like a pandemic that forces people to stay in and they can't, can't come out and buy things you guys didn't didn't let that hurt you at all. You completely shifted and pivoted to where you basically let your customers know that you were just more than fresh baked goods for them, you could be a better resource for them. So you created this kind of recurring revenue machine where your customers came to rely on you for more than you know, just one particular product which which is really good. You, now they've, now you're building this, this relationship with your clients where they're learning to live with you guys. And then of course great customer service with great customer satisfaction. That that whole recurring revenue model is built on that trust that you guys have established with them. So that's another leg of the stool. You know that, there's one other thing called the monopoly factor, which I think you kind of touched on earlier. The monopoly factor is building a moat around your business that's hard to duplicate. And, you know, the Lizzie Bob brand, if you end up selling products that are in other stores, that's, that's kind of like Mrs. Fields, right, or, or any of the famous brands that you're familiar with in the marketplace. That's, that's what they did. They just created a particular perception that their brand itself, nobody could attack that because it was specific to their particular location. So I think it's really cool. I think you guys got a lot of really neat things going on in your business. And that's a sum total of those things that will actually grow the value of your company, and make your company very attractive to somebody else. So that when you and Bob get to the point that we'd like to buy a place in the country and do a little travel, somebody else is going to want to step in and say wait a minute, these guys have already done all the hard work here. We, there's hordes of people coming here every day, right? We want to buy that business and pay him for the combination of all these different value lines. So my hat's off to you, Elizabeth, you guys are, are just phenomenal in what you're doing in that regard. And I think you guys really have it licked.



Thank you very much.



Yeah, awesome. Well, listen, what can we do to to support you other than just tell everybody we know? Is there, is there a place where you would invite people to go to learn more about your business or your website or your ecommerce site? What would you recommend?



Yes, And it's lizziebobsbakery. We have everything on there from our ecommerce shop, you can order online and pick up within 48 hours. We're hoping to bring back shipping. We did a lot of shipping during the pandemic. We even shipped to Canada, it was pretty awesome. And it's just right now, not all the shippers are guaranteeing that two day period, where our fresh products need to get to where they have to go so that they're not spoiled, or expired or, or anything like that. So once that's fixed, our shipping customers will be happy because they email me all the time and ask for a carrot cake. And I can't send it in good faith knowing it'll get there within two days. But it's just we're just living the dream. It’s great you have that communication



with those, with those customers. That's. Oh, yeah. Yeah.



Yeah, being this close to the base a lot of military families have come and gone. And we know that because we've experienced that. And it's really important to stay in touch with everybody.



Well, the one thing I know about Scott Air Force Base over there is they got a lot of, they got a lot of those planes coming in and out of there every day. Makes me, make sure you can get some some of those baked goods, fresh baked goods on those planes. I’m sure there’s people in the Pentagon that have got used to those products before they, before they had to go back to Washington.



One of our customers, she loved our cookies so much that she shipped them to her friends in Germany. And they just got them a couple of days ago. And they were, they were completely fresh. She's like, I said, did everything you said, we started in a tin with a piece of bread to keep it fresh. And she goes, they got them and they were really good.



That's awesome. That's awesome. Well, fantastic. Tell tell us a little bit more about about Test Kitchen Wednesdays too, because I'm, I'm gonna make that a part of my calendar to get over there sometime. When's the best time to show up to to get things fresh out, hot out of the oven?



So test kitchen Wednesdays we usually do the testing in the morning, we're open eight to two. So I'd say you know, by 11 12 o'clock. There's stuff in the cases that we've tested that we're happy to put out for you guys to try.



Outstanding. Outstanding. Well, Elizabeth, it's been a delight to speak to you this evening. I really have enjoyed it. You got a great business going on over there. You got a great reputation in the market. John definitely didn't disappoint. He said, This lady is going to amaze you with everything she's got going on in the bakery and boy, was he right.



Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate you having us on the podcast and, and sharing our information. I mean, it's really incredible to think about all these interviews we've been doing and I’m a very humble person and and success is just it's it's something that you hope for and then you achieve and it could just go up from here.



Exactly, exactly. Just keep striving higher. Just keep striving higher. Awesome. Well, again, thank you very much for your time. We give our best to Bob as well. And tell him we'll we'll see him over there on an upcoming Wednesday.



Awesome. Thank you so much. All right, Elizabeth.



Take care.



You too, thank you. Thank you for listening to the You Don't Know What You Don't Know podcast. We invite you to visit and sign up to receive updates on upcoming episodes. You can also let us know if you'd like to be a guest or recommend a business owner to be interviewed. Find us on LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube where you can like, follow, share and join our efforts. Thanks for listening. We hope you join us again.