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An Interview With Dane Baird- Sweet Pete’s-Pure,Simple Treats

Our client Dane Baird stopped by our SBDC office the other day to update us on what has been happening at Sweet Pete’s . Sweet Pete’s is an all natural sweet shoppe. None of their products contain and artificial colors or sweeteners. The store opened in 2010 in a classic Springfield home.
 
 
1. What has been your experience as to your location in Springfield? 
Great!  The historic Springfield neighborhood is centrally located, making it an ideal place to open a business. Folks from all over Northeast Florida come for candy making classes, our all natural candies, birthday parties, etc. The centralized Springfield location has been a real benefit. 
When we were trying to find a location for the shop, we were particularly attracted to Springfield’s historic architecture. The architecture fits with our brand. Our brand is somewhat nostalgic. My dad says it reminds him of brands he grew up with as a kid. So the brand somehow fits in well with this beautiful, older neighborhood. 
2. Tell us about your products? 
We are an all natural confectioner. What that means is we don’t use anything artificial when making our candy. No High Fructose corn syrup. No dyes. No preservatives. What that means is our products don’t last as long as what you find at the grocery store…so eat it quickly. ; ) 
We also have many services, to include candy making classes, events, parties, corporate team building. We do all this in a whimsical, Willy Wonka-like atmosphere. You can’t help but have fun when you’re at the store. It’s a great business to be in. 
3.  What advice would you give someone trying to start a new business?
It is hard, hard work so make sure you are passionate about what you are embarking on.  Have your finances in order before you take the dive. Most businesses don’t hit profitability or cash flow for a couple years. If you have partners, get everything in writing. Everyone looks and hears things differently. The written word has a way of keeping everyone on the same page. 
4. You have had a successful start. What is the next step for Sweet Pete’s? 
We have experienced great growth over the last three years. We realize that there are many people who would like to try our candies but can’t make it to the store. So, we have started our wholesale division so we can get our products in grocery stores and other venues.    
Also, we are in the reality show business! ‘The Sweet Pete Show’ goes live on the CW in June. I think in Northeast Florida, that’s channel 17 for a lot of viewers. Check us out on Sundays, from 8 to 9PM. 
 
Sweet Pete’s Pure, Simple Sweets
1922 N. Pearl Street
Jacksonville, Florida  32207
904-448-4004
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