As You Wish Bakery is a family affair.
Out of their residence in Battleboro, Peggy Williams and her daughter, Sheri Franklin, cook a wide range of custom cakes and treats.
“Dad is the deliveryman, and grandfather helps us,” Franklin said. “When we started, my brother helped us some. But he left us to become a deputy.”
Using one oven, Franklin and Williams bake gourmet cakes, cookies, pies and other products and deliver them to local companies and to special events such as weddings and birthdays.
“My mom has got 36 years of experience (baking products) for family,” Franklin said.
Franklin said they pride themselves on making tasty bakery products that are custom-ordered to the customer’s liking.
“We devote most of our space (in the house) to cakes,” Franklin said. “On weekends, we have four rooms filled up with cakes.”
A few years ago, Franklin and her family moved into her mother’s home in Battleboro after her mother’s home was rebuilt following a fire. Since then, the bakery business has grown into full-time job, Franklin said.
“At first, I didn’t think it would be,” she said.
A line “As You Wish” in the movie, “The Princess Bride” inspired the name of the bakery, Franklin said.
Peggy Williams was a schoolteacher for 34 years, and the numerous local people who know her and the family greatly have helped the business grow, Franklin said.
“It’s a good reason for our large and diverse customer base,” Franklin said. “We are very proud of how Rocky Mount, Battleboro and Red Oak has supported us as a business.”
Her daughter’s school, Red Oak Elementary, has hired the company to make teachers’ birthday cakes.
Q: What products or services do you provide?
A: We’re an in-home bakery. For three years, we have made custom cakes, wedding cakes. Our specialty is birthday cakes. We bake for a lot of corporate events for Hospira. We also have our cupcakes at Crepe World. We supply the birthday cakes for Hot Wheels Amusement Park and Sluggers. We provide cakes of all sizes for all sorts of events – cupcakes, gourmet cookies, chocolates, pies – all made in our kitchen, and we are inspected and licensed by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
We serve large corporate events. We work with DoubleTree (Hotel) as their preferred baker. QVC has used us to do their events for jubilee and Christmas events. We make 1,300 cupcakes once.
Q: How many employees do you have?
A: Just mom and I.
Q: Who are your key leaders?
A: Mom and I are 50-50 partners.
Q: What is your business philosophy?
A: This is our motto: “Your special day, your special cake as you wish.”
Q: What makes business unique?
A: We’re a small business, but we’re able to handle large orders and we give good face-to-face customer interaction. We love to meet with our customers and get to know them. We’ve got customers that my mom made their baby cakes. And now we’re doing their children’s cakes for weddings. We’re family owned and operated and very family oriented. Mom has been doing this a long time. We’ve been doing this as a business for three years. But she was (baking) for friends when she was a teacher. She loves to do this.
Q: How has your business grown last few years?
A: Exponentially, leaps and bounds, whatever cliche you want to tag on that. It has been a blessing with what the community has done to support us from word of mouth referrals. We barely advertise.
Q: What kind of growth do you expect in the coming years?
A: We hope to be able to focus more on weddings. We enjoy doing the corporate stuff as well. We don’t want to leave behind our customers that have been good to us for so long, but we see ourselves moving towards being a wedding bakery.