It has been SOME TIME since I last wrote a blog post!
This seemed to be the best way for my intended message to reach everyone, so here goes:
Last year, my first year of establishing Yummyholic, was a roller coaster of emotions and a whirlwind of amazing. Especially for being a one-woman operation, I think I truly made significant strides toward building my brand and getting my artful, addictive treats into as many hands (and tummies) as I possibly could. There's a quote I read once about entrepreneurs being people who jump off a cliff and building an airplane on the way down, and that's pretty much the story of my first year as a full-time business owner.
Some top moments from 2016 via Instagram (@helloyummyholic)
I'm into my second year now, and my biggest focus is to make sure Yummyholic can survive and thrive.
As I continue refining and growing Yummyholic, I'm tossing my hat into the ring for two specific recognitions that I hope will garner your support:
If you feel that I (Yummyholic) qualifies for either, I would be immensely grateful for your votes. Read on for further details if you're still with me...
First, Pittsburgh Magazine holds an annual Best of the 'Burgh competition which culminates not only in published recognition, but a huge, gluttonous feast featuring deliciousness from the city's favorite eats. Currently, there is no category for "Cookies" under their Food/Restaurants section. Since Yummyholic has steadily earned a reputation among several crowds and fans specifically for artful, tasty sugar cookies, I'm hoping to make the category happen.
If you're on board, please go here, and at the very end of the "Food/Restaurants" category, please enter: "Cookies: Yummyholic" as a Write-In field. I know some of you are actually crazy for both my cupcakes and cookies, so if you feel the urge to write me into the "Bakery" or "Pastries" field too, I won't decline! :) Biggest reminder is that you need to complete at least 10 fields throughout the categories in order for your vote to count! Since Yummyholic currently doesn't have a brick and mortar space, you can either indicate "Squirrel Hill" or "Sharpsburg" as a location if desired.
DEADLINE TO VOTE: 12pm, Friday, March 31st
ONCE AGAIN, THE LINK TO VOTE IS HERE.
Second, The Incline is seeking nominees under 40 for their "Who's Next: Food" recognition.
Although there's still so much I hope to achieve through Yummyholic, it would be a tremendously invigorating honor to receive this recognition that would keep great momentum going for my business!
If you're on board to vote for me for The Incline's Who's Next: Food under 40 as well, please read on below for info that might help you complete your nomination form:
DEADLINE TO VOTE: 5pm, Thursday, March 16th, 2017
LINK TO VOTE HERE
I've completed one year in my business, and so far, the following all happened thanks to some serious love, support, and magic:
- Formed official charitable partnerships with two local nonprofits: Beverly's Birthdays & The Women's Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. Yummyholic regularly donates baked goods to celebrate the birthdays and baby showers of the communities they serve, which are children and families experiencing homelessness and women and child victims of domestic abuse
- Donated over 3,000 cookies and cupcakes to date (baked all single-handedly by yours truly!), which included a charitable tour around all of Pittsburgh's fire stations
- Featured on a WQED holiday documentary called "A Christmas Cookie Story"
- Featured in a Post-Gazette article titled, "Diversifying the pool of entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh"
- One of 10 grant winners in the Urban Innovation21 & La Dorita Cooks Food Incubation and Commercial Kitchen Competition, which currently provides free commercial kitchen usage and business coaching for Yummyholic
- One of 6 finalists in the Invest in Her Pitch Competition
- Created a Cookie Portrait Gallery featuring Asian Pacific American movers and shakers from the Pittsburgh region that ended up being featured in the largest circulating Chinese-language newspaper in the U.S.
- Featured in a 4 the 412 segment for WTAE
- Commissioned by the Office of Mayor Bill Peduto to construct a gingerbread replica of Pittsburgh's City County Building
- Won 1st place in the Professionals/Business category for the 2015 PPG Gingerbread House Display Competition and 2nd place in the following year
- Worked with Row House Cinema for The Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival (among various other events!), The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust for Jazz Fest (and Multiple Choice: Underground Hip Hop), ModCloth for their Pittsburgh Pop Up, and even got to meet Hines Ward and personally gift him his portrait cookie thanks to Ten Four Social!
- Personally started serving as a Friends of the Board Member for Sisters Place, Board Member for PUMP, volunteer for 412 Food Rescue, and graduated from the Fall 2016 Class of Pittsburgh's Civic Leadership Academy
Honestly, I think I might even be forgetting some things....it was a full, full year...reflecting back, it was more than full. My adventure with Yummyholic so far has been an overflow of blessings.
Looking ahead, I'm hoping to expand Yummyholic's audience and community impact. My big picture goal is to create a bake therapy program that can possibly transition into a workforce development program as well. Using my gifts and passions in pastry, I hope to bring both healing and inspiration to the communities my charitable partners currently serve as well as members of our immigrant and refugee communities.
Authoring a book (or series of books) to present Asian Pacific American history and stories through my edible artwork is also in the plans. Ultimately, I'm sticking to my mission of maximizing the number of happy hearts and happy tummies around the world!
Jasmine Cho, Founder & Creative Ninja of Yummyholic