Today we’d like to introduce you to Mandi Barstow.
Mandi, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve been a fan of baking and being in the kitchen for as long as I can remember. I was always the one to bring cakes, cupcakes and cookies to gatherings and parties, and people had long told me I should be selling my treats. When I switched to a plant-based diet back in 2014, I remember thinking “What about cupcakes?” I had realized that being plant-based was a long-term decision for me and I needed to figure out how to make my favorite treats without traditional ingredients like eggs, milk and butter. I started reading a lot of vegan blogs and trying cake recipes.
My coworkers and friends were the taste testers while I came up with the versions I thought made the best desserts. I didn’t tell most people that what they were eating was vegan, and the response was great. As I got more and more feedback and people wanting to buy cupcakes from me, I decided I would go into business. Mid-year 2016, I began the research on home-based baked goods business in Arizona. By the end of the year I had obtained the licenses, registrations, created a website and filed paperwork to begin my business.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Nothing that comes easy is worth having. All of the details can be challenging in regards to the business aspects of licensing, insurance, etc. I am a sole proprietor and have done each piece of the business on my own along the way. My biggest struggle in the beginning was the time it took getting the website going. Though I’m fairly tech-savvy and can navigate and research my way through most anything, WordPress and I did not get along. Haha! I also still have a day job, and I find that time is my biggest challenge. Many of my days are 16 hours between my day job and Positively Frosted, so balancing that with some level of physical fitness and a social life requires dedication and effort.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I make vegan baked goods such as cakes, cupcakes, cookies, scones, muffins and other pastries. I am known for cupcakes, and they are the most requested item. I also make a lot of treats for those with food allergies, and take pride in making special items for those with specific dietary needs such as gluten free.
I love taking the treats that we enjoyed as kids and turning them into delicious plant-based options. Some examples would be marshmallow rice treats, cake pops, or brownies. I put a lot of love and passion into what I do, and I’m very thoughtful about the ingredients I choose. If I don’t want to eat an ingredient, I won’t put it in the food I’m selling. My happiest moments are when I watch others take a bite for the first (or twentieth) time and see that they’re loving what they’re eating.
What were you like growing up?
Growing up I was a fairly shy kid. I am definitely still the type to observe before I jump in and join a crowd, but I’m much more outgoing these days. From as young as I can remember, I’ve always had a strong creative side with many forms of art. I took pretty much every creative arts class I could throughout junior high and high school. Math and science came natural to me and I enjoyed them throughout my school years as well. Makes sense that I have a passion for baking as it lets me flex my inner math and science nerd, as well as my artsy side.
- Cupcakes starting as low as $28-$30 per dozen
- Cakes starting at $30
- Website: www.positivelyfrosted.com
- Phone: 480.524.0568
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/positively_frosted
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/positivelyfrosted
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/PositvlyFrosted
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/positively-frosted-scottsdale