Welcome to Founder’s Origins!

Self-Rising Flower – an 10-part podcast audio drama mini-series that charts the rise of a family risking everything to build a dessert empire debuts Summer 2024 on Spotify and all of your favorite podcast channels! Along the way, we invite you to experience the REAL people navigating the hurdles of entrepreneurship and persisting in the face of immense challenges to make their marks in our lifetime.

Owner Brad Carr

Website: Griggs Circle Bakery

Griggs Circle Bakery
116 N 5th Street
Hartsville, SC 29550
(843) 309-9375
griggscirclebakery@gmail.com

Meet Brad Carr — the driven and passionate owner of Griggs Circle Bakery, where the art of baking is more than a business – it’s a family legacy and a community-driven endeavor. Brad’s journey into the culinary world was ignited by his mother’s influence, who spent years working in a bakery. Inspired by her, Brad envisioned a place that not only embraced creativity in baking but also became a source of inspiration for others. As he embarked on the challenging path of establishing his bakery, Brad faced hurdles navigating the business side and overcoming logistical challenges. In this insightful interview, Brad shares his experiences, from overcoming skepticism and personal challenges to steering the bakery through the uncertainties of the pandemic. His commitment to community enrichment and passion for supporting those in need is evident, making Griggs Circle Bakery more than just a place for delicious treats. Join us as Brad reflects on his journey, offering advice and a glimpse into the heart behind the thriving bakery.

What initially ignited your passion for culinary endeavors before the establishment of your business?

My mother worked in a bakery for many years. I was inspired to follow in her footsteps and open a bakery of my own and establish a place that encourages creativity.

When starting your business, what significant challenges did you face that nearly derailed your ambitions before gaining momentum?

The business side of opening a bakery was challenging to navigate. We were fortunate to receive guidance from mentors and friends. Also we installed our own kitchen, which provided it’s own set of challenges, from fixture installation to equipment delivery.

How did you overcome personal challenges and external skepticism about the feasibility of your venture while building those foundational elements of your business?

We surrounded ourselves with positive encouraging people who genuinely wanted to see us succeed.

Amidst the various challenges posed by the pandemic, what operational or staffing decisions played a crucial role in sustaining your business through uncertain times?

We operated on a fairly small scale, and fortunately we did not have to let any staff go. We did have to get creative with our business model and move to a “pick-up order” model. All our staff handled the pandemic well and remained positive during the hardest months.

As your orders increased, what sacrifices, if any, were necessary for maintaining a work-life balance while focusing your energy on responsible scaling?

I keep baker’s hours, so I’m early to bed and early to rise. I don’t have much of a social life. I have small kids and spending time with them is how I like to spend my free time. During busy seasons, I may go days without seeing my kids. But we try to spend time together on weekends.

When envisioning long-term goals, do you anticipate reaching a point where you can ease the pace of expansion and shift focus to self and family, or does the relentless entrepreneurial drive persist?

My goal is that my business will provide for my family and the family’s of my employees. Expansion is great, but we’re thankful that our needs are met.

Beyond profit goals, what local causes or community enrichment initiatives do you find most

 fulfilling to support with your business’s proceeds and resources?

We are passionate about feeding those who don’t have enough in our city. It’s our aim to try and help those who need help and can’t find help elsewhere.

If you could offer a piece of advice to your younger self at the beginning of this journey, what crucial insight learned through tribulations would you share?

Cut out the unnecessary stuff. Focus on your family and work hard. Pursue your goals relentlessly.

How can the next generation of aspiring founders best position themselves to secure that elusive ‘first big break,’ propelling them into visibility and accelerating their dreams?

“Big breaks” are like hitting the lottery. Just work hard and be consistent. Success comes from being good and consistently being good for a long time. Don’t chase a scheme or try to get rich quick.

In your experience, what early warning signs or red flags might indicate potential founder disillusionment before reaching profitability, and how can aspiring entrepreneurs navigate these challenges?

If your feeling discontent based on others’ success, I would advise stop looking at other’s successes. Be thorough and wise with your own plans and work at your pace.

 

Website: Griggs Circle Bakery

Griggs Circle Bakery
116 N 5th Street
Hartsville, SC 29550
(843) 309-9375
griggscirclebakery@gmail.com

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