Twisted Truffles takes the love of cake and dirties it up with a beautiful blend of naughty and nice. These bite-sized booze-infused cake balls are the ultimate garnish, packing all the joys of a perfectly blended cocktail into a handcrafted, flavor-packed treat. With a wide selection of flavors all inspired by fun, contemporary cocktails, there's a signature, perfectly-poppable truffle for every taste. Just be sure to eat responsibly! (Each cake ball has up to 5% alcohol by weight and can only be eaten by those 21+.)
How did you come up with your business idea? What inspired you?
I’ve always had a love for baking, or more specifically, for seeing the looks of excitement and happiness on people’s faces when I would gift them whatever dessert I had concocted on that particular day “just because.” I like to surprise people with outside-the-norm treats and one day, just for fun, I started experimenting with ways to take my already-popular cake balls up a notch and make them a little more “adult” by adding different kinds of alcohol. Before I knew it, my “boozy balls,” as my friends lovingly called them, were in high demand and I knew I had something special. I would have to say my grandmother is my ultimate inspiration- she had a business making wedding cakes for her small Texas town and also happened to be the most generous, selfless person I’ve ever known. She passed away before I could share this dream of mine with her, but I can feel her with me every time I’m in the kitchen and work every day to make sure she would be proud of what I’ve accomplished.
What were you doing before this? How did it prepare you for the entrepreneurial life?
I have a background in marketing and advertising and have worked for years helping other companies and small start-ups fulfill their business goals. I learned how to creatively engage with an audience using the most strategic channels for the brand while achieving the best return-on-investment. I spent so long helping other companies find ways to be scrappy, creative and efficient that I had an arsenal of ideas and strategies ready for me when I decided to start my own business.
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
Very soon into the process of launching my business, I discovered that my time, and my money, are no longer my own. The business up to this point has been 100% funded by my personal savings. Plus, as a food-based business, I’m not able to operate out of my apartment- it’s not like I can come home after my current 9-5 and sit on the couch and immediately start working on my products. The investments of time, energy and funds in renting space in a commercial kitchen to bake in the early mornings, evenings and weekends motivate me that much more to make sure these investments end up bearing fruit in the immediate future.
If you were a book, what would your title be and why?
If I were a book I think my title would be “To be continued.” And I would be a series of books all with that same name. There’s no beginning or end to what I’m working on and what I hope to achieve in my life, personally or professionally. There’s always the next goal, the next hurdle, the next achievement to work towards and look forward to and if I’m lucky, that’s what I’ll have ahead of me every day for a very long time- for all of that to be continued.
Who is the one super successful person you look up to? Why them? Can you share their quote/ideology that inspires you the most?
Melissa Ben-Ishay, the owner and founder of Baked by Melissa here in New York, is definitely an inspiration for both me and my brand. I attended a panel that she sat on last year, and she spoke about how in 2008, she was let go from a job in media planning and that same day, she took that disappointment and turned it around to start her widely-successful mini-cupcake business. She had two key messages that stuck with me- the first one was “stop putting things off- if you have a dream, work towards it now.” The second was something her father always told her growing up, which was “You can do anything.” I combined those two messages to form my own personal ideology, which is “You can do anything, but you can’t do anything until you actually do something.” It combines the idealism of dreaming big with the reality of putting dreams into action and is something I think about every day as I work to build my business.
What is one thing you find to be true that most people would disagree with?
I have struggled a lot in coming to terms with the concept of absolute perfection ultimately being unattainable. It has taken countless hours in the kitchen and many sleepless nights of honing in on “perfecting” the tiniest details in my products to realize that perfection, like many things in life, is relative and in the eye of the beholder. While I do still work to the best of my ability to achieve my definition of perfection in every cake ball, I now value the peace of mind (and hours of sleep) I have gained in learning that even if perfection is not reasonably attainable, creating top quality, lovable products will always be.
What is your proudest accomplishment of this year? What are you looking forward the most in the next 12 months?
Honestly my proudest accomplishment in the last year has been simply starting my business. I say “simply,” but for me, there wasn’t anything simple about it. This concept has been a pet project and a “someday” dream of mine for years, and last year when I filed my LLC and confirmed my contract with my commercial kitchen, I knew I had finally overcome a hurdle that I had let sit right in front of me for far too long. In the next twelve months, I hope to expand my brand awareness through retail and wholesale partnerships, creating lovable experiences through my cake balls and making people’s days just a little bit sweeter!