When asked why, she referenced Jerry Seinfeld’s 90’s hit sitcom, “Seinfeld.” “People used to ask him ‘why did it end?’ because it ended at peak popularity. He said, ‘Go out on a high note,’” said Prince. And that’s exactly what she is doing.
Prince has owned and operated her bakery for nine years, watching it flourish from a small-scale, event-based operation into the successful storefront it is now, even opening one of Guelph’s first food trucks.
But with the lease on her store about to expire, she decided it was time to move on.
“It’s been such a passionate ride,” she said. “Growing the business was always a natural next step, but since November, I’ve started to realize that the next phase of the business, scaling up, isn’t where my passion lies.”
For Prince, this was a difficult revelation.
“I really look forward to coming into Sweet Temptations six months or a year from now, seeing the changes, supporting them and seeing it grow,”
“As an entrepreneur, you’re emotionally attached. This has been my life for the better part of 10 years,” she said.
The decision to sell her business stemmed from a conversation she had with a friend, who told Prince the business serves a niche and has a place in the community that’s bigger than her.
“That was a really humbling moment for me, the idea that it had to go on, that it needed to exist in the hands of someone else,” Prince said. “Because baking is such a prolific hobby, there’s got to be someone out there that will really want to carry that torch and see it to the next level.”
Although she has already met with three possible buyers, she is welcoming offers on Sweet Temptations until the end of July, and plans to stay involved with the business until November.
Because Prince values the community-centric aspect of her company, it makes sense that her next role is to be a part-time contract mentor at the University of Guelph, helping new entrepreneurs grows their businesses.
“I’ve had a great mentor relationship through Innovation Guelph, one that’s been an amazing catalyst for me and our business,” she said. “So, I really like the idea of helping young people forge their business and troubleshoot the early stages.”
Prince said she would have taken the position even if she was not selling the business and has already been a mentor to three student businesses over the summer.
“That’s been really rewarding, and kind of a nice transition, because I’m sure I’ll be sad to let go of the entrepreneurial vibe, and it will help me stay connected with that,” she said.
Despite her success, however, it hasn’t always been easy. “One of the biggest challenges is remaining self-disciplined and driven to continue. As an entrepreneur, the buck stops with you. It’s hard to remain motivated in the face of much adversity,” she said.
When Prince was planning on opening her food truck, she intended to partner with another business. They backed out at the last minute, and she had to open it on her own, costing her significantly more than planned.
“Working through that taught me that you can’t count all your chickens until they hatch. At the time I thought ‘this is insurmountable, we’re going to have to shut down.’ Not being completely overwhelmed by that took a lot of effort. But it added massive value to our business and, ultimately, the hard work paid off,” she said.
But the most rewarding part of owning Sweet Temptations, she said, has been the way her business connects her to other people. “That’s been a huge privilege, because you’re not just selling anything, you’re selling something that’s a part of people’s lives. It reminds them of happy times and you’re a part of that journey.”
And while she is still attached to the business, Prince is excited to see where the new owner will take it.
“I really look forward to coming into Sweet Temptations six months or a year from now, seeing the changes, supporting them and seeing it grow,” she said. “I’ll just think ‘hey that’s a cool thing we did, remember the years I was the cupcake girl?’ I think that’s going to be a nice reflection.”