Meet Suzanna of Kanpekies. A systems-focused architect, Suzanna started her shortbread cookie company as a side-business. In Japanese, the word kanpeki translates to “perfect,” which is what Suzanna wants to convey with her cookies (shop online here). Suzanna’s goal in 2020 was to increase her wholesale orders, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her existing clients have paused all orders. As part of our Voices From The Field series, we talked with Suzanna about how her business is doing.
Tell me about Kanpekies.
“Kanpeki” in Japanese means perfect—perfect size and perfect flavors like vanilla and shortbread. You might share it when you want to celebrate something and spread a little comfort and joy.
My small business is not my primary source of income, but this situation will not help me get there. I head the architecture and design team at my firm and I am telecommuting, as most of us are. Architects will be part of the first wave to return to work because of construction.
Since my usual standing cookie order with a hotel canceled, Kanpekies is at a stand-still.
What are the challenges to being a small business owner right now?
There is a new normal and everyone has different needs. As a food business, we still have a desire to make people happy through our food, but the way in which we get our product to people is going to change.
How you are doing and how it feels to be a small business owner during this time?
In regard to being an entrepreneur, the insecurity and not knowing what the new normal is is intimidating. You don’t know the world you are marketing to. It’s a challenge to understand how you divert, how you flip, how you navigate this new world. I find that challenge enticing and something to be inspired by. I’d rather be on the side of optimism.
This whole new world is about valuing and respecting each other as business owners. I am so grateful for Hot Bread Kitchen. I have made some great friends through the incubator.
At a time when everyone is feeling alone, you need to know you are not alone. No one will survive this alone.
Through Feed the Recovery, Hot Bread Kitchen is helping our incubator businesses build a bridge to economic stability.