Olivia Rose Bakery makes confections a family affair

Saidah Farrell has always enjoyed baking with her two daughters. While cupcakes were their favorite confection to make, the three always used a box mix. But when Farrell lost her job as a help desk manager almost six years ago, she decided it was time for a career change. “When you lose your job, what are you going to do,” she asks. “You either find another job or go back to school.” Farrell decided to go back to school.
In 2010 Farrell enrolled at Cuyahoga Community College to earn her associate of applied business degree in hospitality management with a concentration in culinary arts. This weekend will be the grand opening of Olivia Rose Community Bake Shop at 16832 Chagrin Boulevard in Shaker Heights. Farrell runs the bakery with the help of her two daughters, Olivia, 12, and Rose, 16.
“The oldest works on the cupcakes and croissants, while the younger one does the cookies,” Farrell explains. “I went back to school and then I saw my 16-year-old making croissants from scratch. You never realize how much they pay attention of you.”

Farrell received a lot of help to make her vision a reality. She went through ECDI for help securing loans get things off the ground.  “I started off needing nearly $20,000 but if you don’t have collateral, it’s hard to get a loan, she says. “ECDI got me $15,000 in loans through the SBA, the City of Shaker Heights and Cuyahoga County.”

Farrell has been marketing her bakery mostly through Facebook and has already gotten a lot of support from the community. Word has gotten out about her macaroons – especially her maple bacon macaroons. Other goodies include croissants, cookies, eclairs and cinnamon rolls. All of her creations use natural ingredients.

Farrell, who taught baking before opening her shop, plans to offer baking workshops, classes and kids' baking parties at the shop. She also welcomes other area bakers to bake and sell at her shop. Eventually, she plans to exhibit the works of local artists on a regular basis.

The grand opening runs Friday, June 12 through Sunday, June 14 with the ribbon cutting on Saturday.

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.
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