There are so many tasks that a good mentor helps with, but they all lead to helping dreams to become reality. Chelsea Zawisa, of Harvest Moon Bagel Co. has only worked with SCORE – Lancaster Lebanon mentor Eric Parker for one year, but she has known she wanted to be a baker for a good deal longer.
“I decided I wanted to be a baker when I was in high school. I first became interested in cake decorating which ultimately led to my interest in baking overall. I love working with food and being creative, so it seemed like the perfect field of work to get into. My very first job was in the bakery department at Weis Market, and I have been in the industry ever since. “
Chelsea decided to choose a niche market for her baked goods. A wise decision from a marketing standpoint, but one that she arrived at serendipitously.
“My husband's family is Polish and would always have bagels at family gatherings, which is what gave me the idea to try making my own. I've always been interested in baking items that most people would never think of making themselves.”
Chelsea has been doing the hard work required to set up her business with SCORE mentor Eric Parker. Early mornings pounding dough are nothing compared to the energy that need to be put into the financials and a solid business plan.
“Chelsea did the very hard work of developing the costs of her various products and the investments necessary to start and run her business. She completed three versions of the Score Financial Projections Worksheet including, "best case, worst case and most realistic" scenarios". This work was part of the risk analysis to help optimize a location for the new business.
Eric Parker, SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon mentor
Now the proud owner of Harvest Moon Bagel Co. makes fresh baked, handmade bagels, using organic flour and locally sourced ingredients, and delivers them fresh to your door! You can also find Chelsea’s delicious bagels and spreads at: Commonwealth on Queen, Commonwealth Kitchen & Café, Square One Coffee, and Lampeter Café!
But this business model is about to change, and that is where her SCORE Lancaster – Lebanon mentor, Eric Parker is ready to offer support and guidance.
“Eric is there to ask me the hard questions and guides me to make better decisions for the future of my business. My current goal is to open a storefront location. As we get closer to opening a retail location we are going to face a whole new set of business challenges and decisions. I imagine we will be asking for Eric's advice a lot more during this time. We will need help during the hiring process, bringing on new employees and learning how to manage our new team. We will also need to figure out how to best manage our time and we will be putting long days as we get the new space up and running. This coming year will be full of learning and hard work, it helps put us at ease knowing we have a great mentor to guide us through the experience.