Charles Farrier started his company Crumble & Whisk Pâtisserie in San Francisco with a few kitchen supplies and small balance in his savings account in May of last year.
Now, his signature products – delectable artisan cheesecakes – are well on their way to becoming a household name throughout Oakland and San Francisco.
“I started my business without much money,” he said. “Luckily, I had a part-time job. I put money in my savings account to get the business up and running and pay for application fees, licenses etc. I just recently trademarked my logo.”
Farrier kick-started his business with support and resources from La Cocina — a San Francisco-based nonprofit incubator for low-income food entrepreneurs. He says he benefited from the use of La Cocina’s commercial kitchen space and technical assistance in the branding, packaging and marketing of his products.
“I applied to their [La Cocina’s] program and got accepted. They helped mold my brand and get things I needed like a graphic designer, marketing person and advertising,” he said.
On a given weekend, Farrier travels throughout Oakland vending his cheesecake confections at local businesses. Farrier anticipates growing his business through sales and catering opportunities.
He recently received a “Local Food Maker Grant” from Whole Foods Market (Haight Street). The store held back 5 percent of its sales on July 2 to support his company. He anticipates becoming a Whole Foods vendor in the near future.
Farrier is an Oakland native. His father, who often cooked during while Farrier was growing up, inspired him to pursue his culinary career. His training started in the Oakland Public School system and the Treasure Island Job Corps Center. He continued to hone his skills working as a catering chef, cruise ship cook and sous chef to classically French trained professionals.
For more information about Crumble & Whisk, contact Farrier directly at [email protected] or (415) 237-3318.