Things changed for Kimberle Lau when she became a mom 12 years ago. The baking enthusiast wanted to nourish her children with healthy ingredients yet still let them indulge in yummy treats. Coupled with her own food allergies and health concerns, Lau started baking with only clean, plant-based ingredients. Wanting others to also enjoy baked goods without compromise, she started Bake Me Healthy, plant-based allergy friendly baking mixes featuring oatmeal pancakes, banana bread, and brownie mix. The New York native started her company as a subscription box in 2021 but relaunched it in May 2023. We spoke with Lau to learn more about her business, her goals for the future and her most popular item (hello ooey-gooey chocolate!).
It’s one thing to bake with healthy ingredients in your home kitchen for your family. It’s another to launch a successful business. What gave you the idea to take a chance?
In 2020 when everything was turned upside down including my health (becoming at high risk for breast cancer), I realized that I had a greater purpose. I was baking healthy for my family and local customers, but I knew that baking should be inclusive and that all families could benefit from being able to easily create a delicious treat that was better for them and the planet. I was dealing with my own food intolerances and had several allergy mom friends. I had spent over 17 years in beauty CPG (consumer packaged goods), so creating and marketing products was something I had deep experience and passion for. I decided that I would try launching my own business.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
There are too many to mention. Having worked in CPG for most of my career and mainly for entrepreneurial companies, I thought I knew what to expect. But being a solo-preneur is extremely challenging. You wear all the hats – R&D, marketing, sales, operations, finance, customer service, events planner, social media manager and the list goes on. It’s tough juggling everything and knowing what to prioritize. When launching your business, you want to manage it all but there is certainly not enough time in the day. This doesn’t even account for us mom-preneurs who juggle building our business and raising a family. Unlike in corporate America, there are no office hours. You’re always thinking about your business.
What are the best things about running your own shop?
You own something entirely. Like motherhood, this is your baby to be proud of and to stress about. Everything about this business is YOU. I absolutely love creating my business and making it representative of my core values. I know what I’m bringing to the world is having a positive impact. Plus my family is involved, so it is rewarding to know that I am inspiring my children to work hard and pursue dreams.
What do you hope for the future of Bake Me Healthy?
My dream is to be the healthy, sustainable Betty Crocker. Creating a line of plant-based, allergy-friendly, and upcycled baking mixes that anyone can easily whip up. Plus expanding into categories that can help families lead healthier, more sustainable lifestyles.
Will you experiment with new products?
Absolutely! Innovation is my love language. If I could be in the kitchen all day creating new recipes, that would be my dream. There are so many cool new healthy and sustainable ingredients. The reason I love to bake is that it allows you truly to be creative. I am working on new products for next year.
What’s the most popular mix?
Our Dark Chocolate Fudgy Brownie Mix is our bestseller. It’s ooey-gooey and tastes indulgent with rich dark chocolate chips. It’s made with upcycled coffee cherry flour (coffee beans grow in coffee cherries that are discarded) which enhances the flavor of the dark chocolate. Cocoa and coffee grow in the same soil so they’re like cousins.
What are some things you’ve learned in the process?
There are so many learnings – what customers really want, how to manage social media, how to pitch to retailers. The single most important lesson I’ve learned so far is to be graceful and patient with myself. I have so much passion and energy that I enjoy speed, but I have to keep reminding myself that businesses take time to build and there is no single recipe to success. It’s all test and learn so I need to plant as many seeds as I can and see what grows over time.
What do you hope to share with others in your quest to bring healthier baked goods to the world?
Healthy baking can be easy, fun and delicious. You don’t need hours to bake. Our baking mixes are so easy that you just have to add two ingredients and they’re ready to bake in minutes. Children (and even husbands) can bake with our mixes. It’s also fun and rewarding when you gather the family in the kitchen to bake. Lastly, being healthy, vegan, or gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to compromise on taste. Now you can finally indulge guilt-free.
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