April 19, 2017

Challenger Spotlight: Katherine Hayton, Sweet Works

Sweet Works is a gourmet cake and cupcake business in Chilhowie, Virginia that prides itself in using original recipes to make 100% made from scratch goodies. This local business began as a home-based business and is unique to the area because the recipes cannot be found anywhere else. Attention to detail and decorating with skill are important to business owner Katherine Hayton. One of Sweet Works’ products features a unique mason jar that is used to package cupcakes. A spoon is attached to the mason jar and is used as a ready-to-eat option or a gift idea. It is products like this that give Sweet Works a warm and inviting touch to its customers. Katherine caters to companies such as Political Dogs, Riverfront Restaurant, Clifton Companies, and Scholle Manufacturing. Current customers have requested catering services from Sweet Works, and Katherine has a plan of meeting her customers’ needs. She hopes to expand her business by opening catering services that feature barbeque style cuisine. According to Katherine, “Our catering will be BBQ smoked on the “Big Green Egg” and will be accompanied by homemade sides, original sauce recipes, and our already popular desserts. This expansion would require additional employees, both on a full and part-time basis.” The second part of her business expansion is to open up a restaurant area in December 2015, which features a store front bakery area. This will allow customers to stop by and purchase cupcakes or coffee and tea. A later expansion would be to have carry-out lunches which will be one to two days per week. According to Katherine, this will be used as a marketing strategy in order to get people to take advantage of Sweet Works’ catering services. The third part of her expansion plan is to advertise Sweet Works as an event venue for parties. Participating in the Cup challenge was beneficial to Katherine’s business in multiple ways. Not only did it increase her knowledge base of business management, but it also fostered a more sustainable business model for Sweet Works. A future goal would be to purchase new equipment. This would allow revenue that is generated by Sweet Works to be used to hire more staff members.