Ever since her first batch of botched cupcakes, Kandace Crosby was determined to get the perfect recipe. Inspired by her grandmother’s homemade cooking, Crosby attempted many batches of cupcakes until she finally found her niche. That passion and determination turned her niche into her new locally owned “Nook Bakery”.Crosby is a 21 year-old Florida native whotends South Eastern University as a marketing student. She simply loves to bake. She started her business by selling cupcakes during her mother’s calligraphy class at Simply Vintage, which is another small business in Downtown Lakeland. Crosby is a real down-to earth business owner who is in love with her community.

“We really don’t have a communal bakery where people can come and drink coffee and
eat a pastries here. I would just love to bring that to Lakeland”, Crosby said.

Nook really thrives off of its “from scratch” baked goods. Crosby hates anything “box-mixed” and would never want to sell anything other than authentic goodies to her customers.

“If it’s boxed-mix, I don’t want it!” Crosby exclaimed.

It’s very important to her that she continues to giver her best quality products to her customers. Her sense of community building and bonding was incredible.

The name “Nook” has a double meaning for Crosby. “My grandma actually had a nook in her kitchen. That’s honestly one of my inspirations,” she comments.

Not only is it a family meaning, but it also refers to the neighborhood oriented side of business that Crosby is looking to create. She claims she couldn’t have gotten so far if it weren’t for her supporting family and the support of everyone in Lakeland.

Kandace makes sure she engages in conversation with everyone who walks through the doors of Simply Vintage. It became normal for her to stop the interview just to make sure a customer didn’t need help. Every conversation ended with a laugh and a friendly reminder to “stay cool” during the hottest time of the day. The real question was whether Crosby drew positive energy because of the hypnotizing smell of frosting or because of her warm smile.

But it hasn’t been all smiles and sprinkles for Crosby. Starting up a business has been a reoccurring challenge. Although she has amazing support from her family, Crosby is “a one man band” at Nook. She bakes and budgets as much as she can, while still learning how to become a pretty good business woman. It’s obviously not an easy thing to do, but when asked, Crosby’s happy personality didn’t waiver in the slightest.

“I know that at some point, I will have to up my prices, but for right now I’m not worried about that. I just want to make the community happy.”

Well sized proportionate cupcakes and at a good price is the plan at this moment. In her future plans, she knows that she will soon have to compete against big business bakeries like Small Cakes. But that’s okay for Crosby because she doesn’t plan on giving up any time soon.

Even though Nook is a small pop up stand for right now, Crosby has been making serious business. She sells every Saturday, (unless posted otherwise on her Instagram/Facebook) during Farmer’s Market hours. She’s confident enough to take on a constant large wave of friendly customers every few minutes for some hours of the day.

Crosby agreed that her most difficult thing would be selling cupcakes at four o clock in the morning. “Yeah totally, I’ve literally been adding more breakfast items to the list for some brunch options”, Crosby said. This past Saturday her brunch option were warm, buttery, blueberry muffins complimented with an array of vanilla cupcakes and homemade “Snicker” bars.

I had the pleasure of devouring a cappuccino cupcake, and I did not regret it at all. It was soft, sweet, and met all perfect cupcake
Crosby’s end goal is to open a store front bakery and to grow Nook into a team bakery. “I feel as though, its easier to delegate and work as a team than it is by myself. I also think it would be easier to get my name out there more.” Her future plans are to continue to sell her cupcakes and hopefully start moving her business to local college campuses for a day.

Nook bakery is a great example of how local businesses help to tie the community together. Kandace Crosby not only sells at the Farmer’s Market, but is also willing to do orders for birthdays and weddings. Please support her local business, and if you have free time grab a delicious cupcake. She is usually at Simply Vintage at 9:30 in the morning till early afternoon. Follow Nook on Facebook and Instagram for constant updates on where she’ll be on Saturday mornings. I would definitely recommend her business to anyone.

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