We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Sessler and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sarah, how do you think about risk?
On the surface, I do not think of myself as a risk taker whatsoever. I am always planning ten steps ahead, have considered every possible outcome before I take one single action, and I am overall a very cautious person. I crave security and simplicity. There is not a single person that knows me that would describe me as spontaneous or impulsive. And though I feel those adjectives are typically associated with being a “risk taker”, I think there are several types of “risk”, and the way that I take risks falls under a completely different category: one where passion is the driving force.

To explain what I mean by that a little better, I feel that I have to share a bit of my background:
Growing up, I had one “career” goal. I wanted to be a police officer, to investigate and solve problems, and to have a direct impact on the community. I prided myself on always “knowing” what I wanted to do. I had so many friends that changed their major in college 4-5 times and I remember thinking how lucky I was to be so sure of my career path. I had no doubts about the path I was on, and nothing ever felt like a “risk.” I felt such a drive and purpose to go into, and be a part of, law enforcement. I pursued that path, and after seven years in that field I started to feel this strong pull in a completely different direction.
A little over a year ago, my husband was deployed and on every fuzzy facetime and broken-up phone call, I was talking his ear off about these different business ideas. They seemed like far off dreams, but man is it fun to dream. And though he has always wanted to be a business owner, the prospect of being an entrepreneur myself just seemed too “risky”. But, the more and more that I spoke of it and considered it, the more that life began to open (and shut) the doors for me. I started to earnestly listen to the opportunities that began to show themselves, and those that seemed to be dissolving. My faith began to grow significantly. I started to accept things as they were instead of insisting on controlling the outcome of each and every opportunity that I took.
It became clearer and clearer to me that my purpose was shifting, but I could still impact the community through pursuing other talents and passions.
I left law enforcement, and started my business a couple weeks later. I also became a Barista (something I had always wanted to do) at my favorite coffee shop and roastery: Blessed Grounds.

I now get to connect with people each and every day, but through carbs and coffee. With every pastry I make, and every latte I pour, I think of how it will bring a smile to those consuming it.

I think that when you are acting on your true passions, the “risk factor” significantly decreases. I’ve learned that I’m an “all or nothin'” kind of girl, and passion is my driving force. I believe that if you feel a pull or purpose towards any decision in your life, it is not a risk, but rather an opportunity. And the more “opportunities” you take, especially those that place you in uncomfortable positions, the more growth you will experience — both as an individual, and as an entrepreneur.

When I take the time to truly consider how risk has played a role in my life, I have to acknowledge that without it, I would be on an entirely different path. My best friend once told me that she could not live my life because she was not enough of a ‘risk taker’. I laughed and told her I hated taking risks. She said, “Sarah, you were a police officer and now you own your own business, there’s not much riskier of a position to place yourself in.”

Frankly, she may be one hundred percent correct, being a business owner in any capacity is a risk. But what is life without risk if it means less joy and fulfillment?

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I know I said it previously, but I firmly believe that when we follow our true passions, the stepping stones will align to bring us to a place of achievement and success. When we are serving ourselves, we are better equipped to serve others. Think of some of the most successful businessmen and women that you know in your personal life. Did they start the business to make a quick buck? Or did they follow a passion that led them down a road of fulfillment (physically, emotionally, and financially)? I am willing to bet that it is the latter.

In becoming an entrepreneur you have to look at your intentions prior to embarking on that journey. To excel, your objective must be more than simply to make money. Yes, money is a key factor in business and life, but becoming a small business owner is hard work. And your motivation must be strong in order to keep you moving through the perpetual early mornings and late nights.

I think that any entrepreneur that tells you it was “easy” is lying. There are always going to be challenges. But the happiness I bring to my customers with each pastry purchased is enough to offset those for me.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned as a new business owner is that we as humans are constantly evolving creatures. I remind myself often to be incredibly mindful of that fact. I have a tendency to need to be the best at things before I ever begin, but when you leave a career in law enforcement to become a baker, I think you just have to come to the realization that that is not a reality. It is both daunting and humbling to think in that manner. But having a balance of transparency and confidence in yourself and your business is the best advice I can think to give to any hopeful creative/entrepreneur.

Lastly, starting a new business is like having a child – everyone is going to have their opinions on what they believe you should do and the choices you should make. And though those choices may have worked for them, at the end of the day, YOU are responsible for your choices and actions. You must carry a certain level of awareness of this, especially at the start. I have learned that by trusting in myself and in the opportunities that come my way, I am able to feel a sense of security and confidence in the direction of my business.

For example, Carbs & Coffee Company is fueled by quality ingredients, and sourdough only pastries. It is the basis of my brand, and what I feel sets me apart as a baker. Yet there are several people who have voiced their opinions that the purchase of organic ingredients–or whole/real ingredients–are not worth it. However, my goal is to make indulgent treats that customers can utterly enjoy, but can also feel good about putting in their bodies.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First stop: Blessed Grounds for freshly roasted specialty grade coffee. Their mission is one I will support through and through: direct trading with their farmers, roasting only the highest quality of coffee beans, and directly impacting the local community by supporting a non-profit each month. Hands down, my favorite coffee shop and beans to buy for home as well.
I promise you will not find a more welcoming atmosphere. Oh, and we can’t forget that Carbs & Coffee Co. assorted pastries are available daily as well!

Brunch Pick: Teaspoon. There is not a single thing on the menu that is not absolutely delicious.

Lunch Pick: We all know by now my love for carbs… so, there’s not much better in my book than a hearty bowl of soup in a bread bowl. I mean, come on. Bison Witches on 4th Ave is our favorite go-to spot for lunch in the Tucson area!

Neighborhood Pick: Growler’s Taphouse for a great beer menu and some good eats.

Staycation Pick: Lowe’s Ventana Canyon. You just cannot beat the views and vibes. Ultimate relaxation with great food and service.

Brewery Picks: Catalina Brewing Company, Ten55 Brewing Company, Firetruck Brewing Company, Borderlands Brewing Company.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Sometimes, our minds trick us into believing that we have to live our lives a certain way. We view ourselves as one-dimensional, instead of multifaceted beings. This mindset stunts our personal growth and feeds into our fears. Instead of daring to dream, far too often we “stick it out” in a career that may have already served its purpose–all because it is what we “know” and are “good” at.

If it weren’t for my husband, Jordan, I guarantee I would have let that fear override my propensity to dream. Society trains us to believe that being a ‘professional’ creative is not the way to success. But sometimes we have those in our lives that see through that fallacy and convince us to explore our artistic side.

Jordan is that person for me. I owe him so much credit for believing in me and seeing my potential far before I did. Carbs & Coffee Company, LLC. would not exist if it were not for his unwavering support and confidence in me.

And truthfully, when we are pushed to pursue the things we love, by those we love, it allows us to give back to them more freely. Pursuing your dreams and passions inevitably brings about a new sense of joy and wholeness that maybe you didn’t even realize you needed, and work feels a lot less like “work” than it used to.

Though he is far too humble to admit it, the growth I have seen in myself and my business would not at all be possible if it were not for my husband.

Website: https://www.carbsandcoffeeco.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_carbs.and.coffee/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarbsandCoffeeCo

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