Following my passion

Retiree Spotlight

Many people retire to travel or pursue their hobbies, but I have always been an entrepreneur at heart. My first business was a small café called, Chelsea’s, which I owned when I was 20 years old. I fondly remember making clam chowder every Friday from scratch, and running to the dairy and bakery because the business was too small to warrant delivery. Even after I sold the business, I continued marketing my famous chocolate macadamia nut popcorn.

While my youngest daughter was in college, we took a few cake decorating classes together. She began making bid cakes for her sorority, Make a Wish, and family and friends. After she graduated, she decided to pursue it as a career. Together we opened a small made-to-order bakery, The Sugar Lab. Each year it became more successful, and we were ready to expand. I retired in 2015 and found new location for our bakery that would more than double our square footage. We spent the next 15 months building the bakery from the ground up.

The Sugar Lab Bake Shop opened for business on May 20, 2016, in the Victoria Shopping Center in Ventura. I would not have been able to make this adventure a reality without the support of my family, especially my husband, Bill. As with any small business, my daughter and I work endless hours and it can be stressful. But it is a different kind of stress, and I can always get lost in baking cookies, pies, cupcakes and cakes.