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BUSINESS SUCCESS STORIES

Gladys' Dazzling Desserts

Gladys EarlGladys Earl developed her culinary craft at a young age. "I remember making mud pies with the fresh chicken eggs around nine years of age at our Nebraska farm," Earl said.

It was this early love of food that led Earl to a career in the culinary arts and a passion for creating award winning signature products, such as her Misty Mint Bars, at the local, state and national level. However, after a complete career in the teaching field, she yearned for her chance to start her own bakery as an encore career.

"I always wanted to inspire students to follow their passion and dream," Earl noted, "When I retired, I knew it was my chance to practice what I preached and pursue my own passion of sharing my creations with others by fulfilling a lifetime dream business ownership."

It was this reenergized determination that led Earl to contact the Western Dairyland Women's Business Center for constructive suggestions in launching her own business. The Business Development Specialist covered various business topics such as marketing, publicity, financial projections, pricing structures and networking opportunities, including Earl being an exhibitor at the 11th Annual Women's Business Conference.

Earl was able to incorporate a lot of the suggestions into her business practice. Some of these suggestions included introducing her culinary creations to the market at bridal fairs and farmers markets, as well as having them widely available at coffee shops and fine dining establishments across the region. These actions ultimately led to her success in booking 14 weddings over the summer of 2014. "Working hard, establishing a strong reputation and quality product and gaining expert knowledge from Western Dairyland has proven worthwhile as I'm now able to reap the benefits of watching people truly enjoy my culinary creations," Earl said. "There is a lot of history behind the evolution of my high-quality goodies, now I'm able to provide that for others on a daily basis."

Ultimately, Earl feels that any person with passion, experience and time should pursue their encore career, because, "when everybody has more time to pursue their special hobby or interest as a business, they will enjoy each day."

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