We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Kauzmann and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, alright, let’s jump in with a deep one – what’s you’re definition for success?
Success in general in my life is defined by happiness. If I am happy with what I am doing, who I surround myself with, and my impact on people, then I’d call myself successful in life. Thankfully, starting your own business typically means you’re doing something you love so that checks off that box. The success of my business is slightly differently defined. I’d say it’s successful firstly (most obviously) if it’s sustainable. If I can continue to run it, make profit, and do what I love then it’s successful. On a more personal side, success in my business comes from smiles. I know it sounds corny but it’s true. I worked at some farmers markets this past summer and the best part about them was being able to see customers’ reactions to the look and taste of our treats. I had a woman buy an oatmeal cookie, walk across the parking lot, eat the whole thing, then come back with a huge grin on her face raving about it and bought three more. If I could make money on smiles I’d be happy and successful in my book.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Choosing to pursue the dream I’ve had since I was a kid of starting a bakery business was the easy part, actually doing it amid a worldwide pandemic was more of a challenge. I worried it probably wasn’t the best time to start a business but knew if I didn’t start it, I would continue to make up excuses not to. The business ended up saving me during quarantine, keeping my mind and body busy while being trapped inside. The biggest challenge was accepting my business was going to be different from what I dreamed. I had always thought I’d open a small brick-and-mortar store in a small town and serve pastries to my customers with a smile. This wasn’t possible with the pandemic and my uncertain future so I settled on the first iteration being online with a few farmers markets sprinkled in to still get my fix of meeting and speaking with my customers.
Two things set Pipit’s apart from other baking businesses: our size and our products.
We are a small business which means we’re personal. If there’s a problem, I fit it personally. If someone wants to place a large order, I work directly with them to set up pricing, packaging, and shipping. Being small has challenges (shipping delays, equipment issues, etc.) that don’t effect larger companies as drastically but I think the benefits outweigh the costs.
Our products are all made by hand by me and my mom. They’re made with fresh, real ingredients which means they don’t have tons of preservatives or fake flavors. Our lemon macarons are made with fresh lemon zest whipped into the buttercream to give a kick of lemon unlike any other macaron I’ve tasted. I make every product something I would proudly serve to my family and friends because I want each customer to taste something amazing whether it’s one of our specialty macarons or just a simple chocolate chip cookie.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The Lehigh Valley and surrounding area has so many amazing things to do from restaurants and bars to mini golf courses and amusement parks, to hiking trails and lakes/rivers to explore. If I had to choose a few to highlight, the Delaware River, which is only about an hour east, is a great place to spend the day on the water as well as Nockamixon State Park is fantastic for a kayaking adventure. On your way back, hit up Owowcow Creamery in Ottsville for the most amazing ice cream of your life. I’d also recommend a walk down Main Street in Bethlehem. Lined with small businesses, it’s a charming street any day of the year but it you’re around in the summer, check out MusikFest, a ten-day free music festival with more food than you could dream of.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost, my family deserves the biggest shoutout ever. From my dad, the ultimate taste-tester, my brother who makes all the displays I could ask for, and my mom who not only helps me bake but also keeps me company at farmers markets, I could not have started this business without them. My amazing partner Jordan also deserves a huge shoutout for putting up with my crazy schedule and exhausted rants like a champ and being the most supportive guy I could ask for. This business also would not be possible without my mentor and friend Katie. She was so open and patient with teaching me the ins and outs of the pastry world, while being the most fun person to work with. She started her own business (KCK Catering) as well and I couldn’t be happier for her!