SCORE Gives Exeter, NH Business Some Fresh Ideas
Judson Lovering thought he had followed the recipe for success to the letter when he opened his specialty bakery, The Baker's Peel, in 1994. He had read everything he could about business start-ups; applied his baking expertise to create a distinctive line of delicious breads, cookies, and pastries; and remembered the lessons learned when he and his brothers ran a bakery several years earlier.
But two years later, Judson sensed that something was wrong. Problem was, he didn't know what. The Baker's Peel seemed popular enough among residents of the small New England community, but Judson was never quite sure what to expect from one day to the next. "I knew that nearly every business experiences ups and downs," he recalls. "I felt that I was doing everything right; the results were just not what I had been counting on."
Bob also advised Judson consider making some other changes such as capitalizing on the bakery's most popular products and eliminating low-profit offerings. The latter step required a change in Judson's thinking. "When you're a start-up, especially in the food business, you want to make money any way you can. I had accepted a lot of specialty orders in hopes that these customers would keep coming back. It's hard to say no, but once I realized that I would lose money trying to be everyone's personal baker, I understood why it's necessary."
In the years since that first call to SCORE, The Baker's Peel has consistently shown steady growth. Judson's sales are four times those of the bakery's previous owner. But while business is good, he's not taking things for granted. Judson maintains that there's always room for improvement; thanks to SCORE, he's learned how to find it.
"I didn't have a specific goal or idea in mind when I called SCORE," he says. "I just needed guidance in developing a strategy. Bob did that by teaching me to constantly watch for things that will help keep my business growing."
"The fact that Bob spent several hundred hours working on a computer program just for my business is indicative of his commitment to helping people. He was always available and willing to help me in any way possible. I can't thank him enough." Judson Lovering, Owner, The Baker's Peel