Small Business Saturday Featuring goodesmith bakery
When Rachael Smith was a little girl and people would ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up, she had what she calls the classic, young Nigerian response: a doctor! Growing up she watched all the medical shows (ER, Grey’s Anatomy), enrolled in a health science class in high school and did clinicals in hospitals or medical facilities every week. Rachael was on her way to becoming a doctor!
Or so she thought…
Her first semester in college she was a double major in Biology and Business, with the intention of going on to medical school and eventually owning her own medical practice, but quickly learned that the studies needed to learn to be a doctor were just not her jam. So, like many of us at that age, she began her journey of self discovery and trying to figure out what she wanted to do with her life. And like most of us, Rachael says, she’s still kind of figuring that out! (Saaame, Rachael, same!)
After college, Rachael worked in higher education at a local university, however, in 2018 she realized that there had always been one constant in her life, one thing that continually brought her joy…and that’s baking! Even back when she was aspiring to be a doctor, she would binge watch The Food Network and other cooking shows as much as she could. On the weekends she’d spend the mornings baking random recipes with her family and trying to perfect and learn from each one. Rachael says she looks back on those times so fondly because that’s what kept her family united throughout the normal ups and downs of life- the one constant, if you will. Even now with her husband, she says she nurtures that relationship through baking. When you realize you have something that you truly love and you’re able to recharge from, that’s probably the something you need to lean into. So Rachael did just that by opening her in-home cookie chop, perfectly named goodesmith, in 2018.
Baked fresh out of her home, Rachael’s cookies are made with organic, non-GMO ingredients and can be picked up or delivered and she services the greater Houston area. She also offers vegan lactation cookies for nursing mamas! Baking for people and for their special occasions gives Rachael so much joy. Whether it’s a birthday party or a mama wanting to up her milk supply, she loves that her baked goods can play a roll in peoples lives.
We got to interview this awesome woman entrepreneur about her leap into owning her own business, the support of the Katy community that’s helped get her where she is now, the security and structure she had to let go of when launching her business, and what her plans are for the future! So much great insight from this business owner and we thrilled to support her.
We also placed a giant order for ourselves and cannot WAIT to try these cookies, guys! We’ll be sure to report back!
Read our full interview with Rachael below!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the Katy area?
Born and Raised in Houston – lived in Katy since 2013.
What did you do before opening your business?
I worked in higher education at Houston Baptist University and organized the admissions team events for prospective students. Then I began my graduate program at the University of Houston in Hospitality Management and started goodesmith not long after!
When did you launch your business and was it a smooth ride?
I began goodesmith in the fall of 2018. It has been pretty thrilling so far! I never fully imagined that I would start my own home bakery. There has been ups and downs. I’ve never started a business before and I often feel like I don’t have all the resources I need. However, I have felt peace and that keeps me going.
Tell us a little about your business and the inspiration behind starting?
Well I had a bad case of insomnia one night and could not fall asleep! So I decided to finally try this recipe I came across for chocolate chip cookies. Of course with most things I bake, I always put a spin on things. And it turned out to be THE. BEST. CHOCOLATE. CHIP. COOKIES. EVER. Literally. And I don’t usually like to hype things up. (I realize it’s not very humble to brag about your own product, but I would be lying if I said they are just ok haha.) And so I got my husband to try them and he also agreed. After passing them around to friends, someone suggested I sell them and goodesmith was born!
What makes your business unique?
I realize that a lot of women are selling baked goods out of their home. And I also know that people are more health conscious and tend to shy away from having baked goods. However, when possible, I use the best ingredients I can find that are organic and non-gmo. Also I know there is a need for cookies that are solutions to common everyday situations: breastfeeding, kids birthday parties, meaningful gifts, potlucks, real estate showings, etc. There is no need to run to the store and bring a product that tastes mediocre and fulfills a requirement. My cookies are baked fresh for your event and brings joy to any situation. I love being able to make relationships with my customers and make your event memorable.
If you could describe your business in just three words, what would they be?
Those words would be: homemade, versatile, joyful
Have you always been good at cooking and baking or did you have some trial and error?
I feel the best thing about cooking and baking is the trial and error process. I love figuring out why something didn’t work, gaining knowledge on how an ingredient makes the final product, and brainstorming new ideas.
Tell us about your vegan lactation cookies- why did you introduce these and what has the feedback been about the results from nursing mamas?
Since I haven’t had a baby yet, it never occurred to me that lactation cookies were a tool breastfeeding moms used to increase their milk supply. It was actually my sister-in-law who asked me to make her some. After some research, I made a product that myself and even my husband enjoyed. I let my mom friends sample them and test them to make sure they worked and they have been a hit! Even my stepmom, who recently gave birth a few months ago, is calling me up to order her next batch!
We’re giant advocates for supporting local! Tell us how the community has gotten you where you are now.
I just love Katy. It’s big enough to give you a city-feel but also small enough to access any resource you need! It’s where my husband grew up and where we have called home for the past six years.
Can you tell us the meaning behind your shop name?
It’s a play on words. I took the concept of the blacksmith – which has the meaning of someone who makes and repairs things. My last name is also Smith and I make baked goods. The extra “e” makes it unique and stands out.
Favorite cookie you carry? What are the most popular?
So hard to answer this question! As of right now it’s my newest cookie creation – the vegan chocolate chip cookie. The most popular is the classic chocolate chip cookie with a touch of sea salt on top.
Future plans for your business?
Too many to name here! For now I am working to expand the menu. And I am hoping to get the word out and find small niches that need a specially designed cookie just for them!
Tell our mamas how they can get their hands on your products- and do you deliver or is it pickup?
All cookies can be ordered off my website. I deliver and you can pick up! Whatever is convenient. I serve the Greater Houston area.
Any plans for selling in-store somewhere in the Houston area?
That would be an amazing opportunity and I am open to it!
Best advice for anyone wanting to open their own business?
Ignore the reasons and excuses of why you can’t or shouldn’t start a business. Start today and take it slow. I am learning success doesn’t come overnight. Don’t fall into the trap of comparison. It’s just a tailspin of confusion and frustration. Focus on that day’s task and give it the best you possibly can each and every time.
Favorite thing about being a business owner?
The freedom and flexibility! I love that I have the time to create new things on my own time.
Hardest thing about being a business owner?
The freedom and flexibility! Haha! I love structure! So sometimes it is hard when you have to be the one to constantly be organized and on top of things. With working out of my home, I can easily get distracted or push to-do items.
What’s one thing you’d like to go back and tell the you launched into entrepreneurship?
Buckle up it’s going to be a fun ride!
When things get hard, what’s one thing you tell yourself to keep going?
To remember how it felt daydreaming and wishing you had something of your own to cultivate and grow. That day is now here and I need to build a legacy that I would be proud of.
Be sure to follow along with Rachael on social media and visit her website to order those delicious cookies!
Instagram – @goodesmith