Meet Kisha Scroggins of Honey Bunch Bake Shop
First and foremost, I’m a wife of 20 years and a mother of five. My kids are ages seven to 18 (graduating this year). I’m a nurse by profession and have a Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Healthcare Administration. Because life has a tendency of happening, I left my role as a nurse educator at a local hospital and went back to school nursing just before my youngest started kindergarten a couple of years ago. It was a major sacrifice in income, but my youngest child goes to school at my campus. So…life has a way of working out.
I’ve always liked baking but truly never thought of it as a possible business venture until several months ago. My school district will be demolishing my campus soon. School districts always need teachers regardless of which building students are in. However, a school generally only needs one nurse for the entire campus.
As I started to worry about being able to find a new position and if it would be right, I started thinking about other options. My mother has been saying for years that one of us kids needs to start a business. I thought, “Yep, one of you guys should definitely make that happen. Good luck. I’ll be rooting for you from the sidelines.” Now that I will have to make a change whether I want to or not, I decided to start a business on the weekend to see if I could be successful instead of waiting to see if I’ll be lucky enough to find an open position. If I could tell that people liked what I make, I told myself I could start an honest-to-goodness bakery one day…hopefully before my campus closes.
Teachers and nurses don’t work for school districts with thoughts of becoming exorbitantly wealthy. Many of us work second jobs, which is also the case for me. I work Monday – Friday and also teach Zumba three nights a week after I leave school. On other nights, I choreograph routines and practice for my classes. Now, I’ve started a business as well.
I usually work seven days a week. I bake in the evenings if someone happens to order during the week. Some nights, I have to wait to bake until after I teach my evening class, which can make for some long nights. I also bake for farmer’s markets on weekends. There have been many nights when I didn’t get to go to sleep at all. I was up for nearly 48 hours once, because I had to work all day at my school, bake after I got off, and then head straight to the farmer’s market.
Two of my children are adopted from the foster care system, and both of them have some chronic health issues. They have each had a couple of hospitalizations over the years. Most recently, one of my daughters has been in and out of the hospital since Christmas of 2019 (a few months after I started baking). It has been a struggle. There’s no other way to say it. I thought about ending this journey more than once. I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights and too many tears to count, and not merely about trying to start a business. It’s been about life’s curve balls, worrying about my sick kids (and the healthy ones), and feeling like the minute the hurricane that is my life seems to slow down, the good Lord, in his infinite wisdom, decides I’m ready for the next round. I know I shouldn’t, but sometimes I complain. Then, my husband reminds me we’re blessed to be doing as well as we are, because it could always, always be worse. I hate it when he says it, because I don’t want to hear that in the moment, but it’s true.
I desperately wanted my husband to tell me if I should keep going or just quit so that I wouldn’t have to take the blame for making the wrong decision. He wouldn’t decide for me, which I didn’t appreciate at the time, but I know he was doing the right thing and couldn’t take responsibility for making that decision for me. Needless to say, I haven’t been as consistent with my farmer’s market attendance due to everything going on over the last couple of months, but I’m still working at it and hope to open a retail location in the next two to three months.
Currently, I operate as a cottage food bakery, which allows me to bake from my home kitchen. We are required to be food handler certified and are limited in the types of foods we can make. Once my commercial kitchen is up and running, I can expand my menu and also add cream cheese to my buttercream icing.
I specialize in desserts that aren’t easily found. I make six different kinds of Amish friendship bread. If you’ve never had it, it’s like a chain letter for food. You have to let the starter mix ferment on the counter for 10 before you can make a loaf. If someone suddenly has the taste for it, they can simply order it or pick it up from me at a local farmer’s market. I also make honey glazed pumpkin bread, and a honey apple cake/cupcake. I like trying different flavors together to see what works.
I can’t say that my husband or kids have seen me become a success as of yet, but I can say that they’ve seen me work until I literally felt like dropping. Even if I fail, they will know I gave it absolutely everything I had. If it wasn’t given, it’s only because it didn’t exist. They will never say I didn’t try. NEVER. That gives me pride.
If I can pay the lease on the retail space I hope to find and can replace my school district income, I’ll be over the moon. I don’t want my family to struggle unnecessarily because of a business decision (or any decision) I’ve made. My oldest daughter has special needs and may not be able to go to college or find a job that fits her, but maybe I can have her help with cleaning, stocking, etc. so that she can gain some independence and make a little money for herself, which would do so much for her self-esteem. Then, we could both be successes.