Success tastes sweet for Smith
Terrica Smith believes a good cookie can make any day better.
“It makes a person feel special,” Ms Smith said.
In 2016, she founded Sugar on Top, a business that provides clients with freshly baked cookies and cupcakes and also glass candy and popcorn.
“I love the satisfaction of having completed the finished product,” she said. “I love making someone happy when they come to get their order.”
As the name would imply, the business involves a lot of sugar. When we spoke to her she had 20lbs of it in her cupboard, and, with a busy weekend coming up, expected to be out of it shortly.
So naturally, the sugar tax hike in March hit her hard, not just financially but also emotionally.
“I am trying to make sure that I am not going to be blamed for someone being diabetic long term,” Ms Smith said.
She believes it’s all about balance; it’s okay to have an indulgence once in a while, but maybe not every day. She tries not to eat a lot of her own product, limiting herself to four cookies a day.
“Some weeks I can go without having any cookies and other days I am like, I just need four today, and four tomorrow,” she said. “It depends on how things are going.”
She first started baking as a child, with her mother and grandmother. Then, seven years ago, she took it up as a way to relax after a long day working in mammography at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.
“At work, I always work as a team,” she said. “In the kitchen it is just me and the batter.”
When she started churning out cookies and cupcakes for family and friends, they were so impressed they suggested she start her own business. So, after doing some research, she founded Sugar on Top in 2016.
She now provides six different types of cookies — sugar, chocolate chip, ginger snap, oatmeal and raisin and mint chocolate chip.
Her favourite cookies to bake are sugar cookies.
“I like the way they look at the end,” Ms Smith said. “It has a little bit of cuteness to it and perfection of the edges.” But chocolate chip are her favourite type to eat.
She also bakes and sells cupcakes, glass candy and popcorn for parties and other events around the island.
So far her biggest order was 100 multicoloured cupcakes for a child’s birthday party.
“The challenge with that was making the time to ensure the icing was perfect and the packaging was not falling,” she said. “Packaging is important when you are going to transport. As far as cookies, I did do a corporate thing where they wanted all of their staff to have cookies. I had to start out in advance and plan for that.”
It might seem like there is a home bakery around every corner these days, but Ms Smith said she tries to stay competitive through pricing and availability.
To keep prices down she tries to be as thrifty as possible, buying ingredients in bulk when she spots a sale.
But she has to be careful not to buy too much extra product.
“I try to buy a moderate amount, but I try not to overbuy, because Bermuda is a very wet climate especially for your sugars,” she said. “If you are buying too much sugar at once, it gets wet and clumpy and changes the product in the end.”
For Ms Smith, the hardest thing about the business is the unpredictability.
“It could be busy this week and then next week no one is calling and then it could pick up again,” she said.
Cup Match and Christmas are some of her busiest times. Business tends to slow down in September.
“It is up and down,” she said. “I most want people to know that we are a small home bakery. Sugar on Top is more of a hobby than a business where I have a storefront, but it is something I love to share with people. I love the satisfaction of having completed the finished product. I love making someone happy when they come to get their order.”
• For more information about Sugar on Top call 799-3566, e-mail email@example.com or see them on Facebook and Twitter under sugarontopbda
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