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The MiBiz Podcast: Try the Cake!

BY Friday, July 22, 2022 01:37pm

“Leverage the cake.”

That’s one of the bits of business wisdom Scott Vogel dropped on us during a recent appearance on The MiBiz Podcast. A former corporate executive — the line about leveraging cake might have been a tip off — Vogel made the transition from managing multi-million product lines for Keurig Green Mountain Inc. and Bissell Inc., to baking Bundt cakes with old-school frosting that’s made from scratch.

Today, Vogel and his wife, Christine, own the Nothing Bundt Cake franchise in Grand Rapids and have two more locations on the way. Christine brings a background in baking and comes from an entrepreneurial family — her dad owns 20-some gas stations in the Chicago area and her brother is the founder and CEO of the upscale Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants chain.

During the podcast, the Vogels told us how they went from barely making payroll in their first year to being on the precipice of opening two additional locations. Here are some highlights of the conversation:

On how they chose the Nothing Bundt Cakes franchise:

SCOTT: “From my background in product development, you had two choices in that role: To either be five to six years ahead of trends or you run in the opposite direction of everyone else. And in this case, it was old-school baking and frosting. It’s not your typical franchise where you get finished products rolling into the back of the bakery and then there’s this magic lever in the back that just finishes if for you. It’s actually old-school baking and frosting, frosting done from scratch, all the cakes are handmade, with a large team. It’s an old brick-and-mortar business and it’s relationship-driven. And so when you have all those factors, it feels like a mom-and-pop shop because it kind of is.”

On doing business and giving back to the West Michigan community:

CHRISTINE: “The thing is, what we have is cake. We might not be able to give thousands of dollars to different charities, but we have cake. We’re making cake every day, that’s something that we can do. We like to go to the hospitals, especially when COVID first started. The frontline workers, man, I mean, they deserve a lot more than cake, but it was something that we could do.”

On what could possibly go wrong:

SCOTT: “At Keurig, I had a billion dollar product line with tens of thousands of moving pieces and I said, ‘How hard can this be, right?’ … I have never been more humbled in my life.”

On opening a second Nothing Bundt Cakes store, and plans for a third:

CHRISTINE: “I kind of joke because we have three kids and people ask, ‘Opening the second location, how do you feel about it?’ And I said, ‘Well, it's kind of like when you have a second kid. You still don’t know what you’re doing, but they survived, so why not have another one?’”

Read 166 times Last modified on Friday, 18 November 2022 13:49