In this week’s “Entrepreneurship Spotlight,” we are serving up something sweet as we catch up with Anna Roudebush of Proper Pastry. This gourmet bakery is located in Roanoke – just a short drive from southwest Fort Wayne.
Roudebush (or “Chef Anna”) is a classically-trained chef who specializes in all-natural wedding cakes, all occasion cakes, macarons, artisan breads and other handcrafted pastries. After receiving a degree in culinary arts and food service management in 2004, Chef Anna worked as a pastry chef at a variety of locations before returning to Fort Wayne in 2014 to begin her journey as a culinary entrepreneur.
What made you decide to open a business in Northeast Indiana?
I started my business in Northeast Indiana because this is my home and where my family is. I wanted to be close and still pursue my dream.
What resource in the community has helped you thrive in the community?
Media – getting a press release by the [Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center] from IPFW. I also had a small segment on [WANE NewsChannel 15] last year. That brought me a considerable amount of business.
What is the biggest challenge you have worked to overcome in starting your business?
It has been challenging to run my shop and still have time to network with other businesses and marketing. Also, buying large equipment and figuring out how to just get it into my pastry shop. No one teaches you that at culinary school.
What people have helped you the most in your journey?
Mike and Maureen Catalogna from Catablu restaurant. I started my business in 2014 and did not have a kitchen to work in yet. I approached them to sell them pastries and they were generous enough to let me borrow their kitchen during off hours at a very low cost until I could find my own space to work out of. We still continue to do business together.
What is some advice you would have for new entrepreneurs?
Get out there and tell everyone you meet about your dream. Find other entrepreneurs who have been successful and try to get some advice. You also have to ask yourself what you are willing to sacrifice because it will take up your whole life until you can make it. You really have to love what you do.
What would be the best thing Fort Wayne could do for entrepreneurs in your opinion?
I think there could be more shared spaces and incubators around the area. That way people could test out their ideas without losing too much capital. I think all of the local television stations should make time to help. I think, in general, the population wants to know about these people. It is one of the things that make Fort Wayne special.
Learn more about Proper Pastry by visiting their website at properpastry.com.
Looking for more local entrepreneurship information? Check out “This Week in Entrepreneurship.”
Browse our website for a complete listing of past “Entrepreneurship Spotlights.” If you are an entrepreneur in the area who would like to share your story like today’s spotlight did, connect with us today!