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

Hi Savannah, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think taking risks are what truly develop you personally and professionally. We spend the first 20 ish years of our lives being told what to do, how to do something, what to eat, when to sleep, how to feel and while having parents, teachers and coaches guide us as we begin to grow, constantly being told what to do will condition us to stick to what we know, stay in our comfort zone and always do what feels right. But it’s not until you start taking risks that you really get a glimpse of what life can be like if you just say, I’m gonna do it and I’m all in. For me personally I was that way. I always did what my parents suggested which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing both of my parents are very successful and obviously the path they took worked out 100% in their favor. I followed the “typical American path” go to school, go to college, graduate, get a job, get married start a family. It wasn’t until I got to college that truly from the beginning I realized this wasn’t for me but I know it’s what’s best and I just decide to suffer through. Growing up anyone that knew me, knew I could bake a little bit but nothing major like I’m not at Cake Wars status yet. It wasn’t until I took an entire week off of school and decide to have a valentine’s day sale that I realized, whoa I can kind of make something out of this. I made more money in two days then I did at my part time job in a week. The following fall semester I was so burnout I decided to take a semester off, during this time I would try hundreds of recipes in a week and post them as if someone ordered them and then I started getting orders almost every week. I had an uh oh moment like, I’m not sure if I can do this but I told the customer yes and at that point I had decided to be all in no matter what happened I’m all in. From fall of 2017 taking a few orders a week to early 2022 taking 10+ orders a week you can literally see how the smallest decision to choose what I want has changed my entire life. As the business grows so do the risks. Between applying for $50,000 dollar loans to now getting closer and closer to opening my first storefront coming this summer. I say all this to say my life wouldn’t be what it is if I didn’t take the risk. If I waited until I had the money to run the business or waited until I was comfortable running the business the opportunity would’ve been gone and who knows what I would’ve been doing now. It’s important to trust your gut when you feel anxious or scared and not so much your mind. Your mind is the logic and it’ll tell you everything that is going to go wrong but somehow when we get ready to take risks our minds forget to tell us everything that’ll go right and how majority of the time you’ll regret not doing what your gut told you to do. I’m constantly reminding myself that I am the thinker, not the thoughts in my head and that gives me the confidence to try new things and take more risks in my life and in my business. You have to be prepared to take the good with the bad and the highs with the lows but that’s with life in general so why let that stop you. The advice I give to people who are scared to takes risks is to start small and then jump off the deep end. Maybe go out to eat by yourself, or try a food you’ve never tried before, join a new activity then branch out and do something bigger like taking a trip alone, join a travel group, start a book club or take a missions trip. The smaller risks you take, the more confident you begin to feel when bigger risks and challenges present themselves. You truly begin to realize the only thing stopping yourself from living is you.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Sweet and Savvy Cake Shop is a locally black-female owned bakery in Akron, OH, opening summer of 2022. I have been running a home based baking business since 2017 and although I am eternally grateful for my parents, their help, sacrifices and kitchen my business has outgrown the kitchen. Where I want to see my business grow is unrealistic in a standard kitchen with only one full time worker. While I’m still growing and learning, my customer service is truly what sets me and my business apart. I understand sometimes I’ll make mistakes and I might not satisfy every customer but despite that, every customer will receive my best 125% and the customer service they receive will be like no other. What I’m most excited about is the opportunity to serve and meet more customers face to face on a daily basis vs. just meeting customers who placed orders. Two things that I’m looking forward to are; the opportunity to really showcase my creativity and being able to create jobs in my community. Getting to this point was not easy, running a small business is not all that it looks to be on social media. A lot of people forget that most small businesses are a one man/woman show and it seems like people lack common courtesy and grace for small businesses like they have for large companies and corporations. The biggest challenges I faced would be as I began looking for retail locations. When looking for different locations I would ask my friends male and female to call and get pricing and sometimes we would accidentally call the same location, my male friends would always get a substantially cheaper price on location than me and my female friends did. The other issue I faced is seeing communities state they are small business focused but the cost of rent, the process of applying for loans, the process of even getting to look at buildings truly made me want to give up. Perseverance and prayer were honestly the only things that kept me searching for the light at the end of the tunnel. You have to be committed to whatever goal you set and stick to it no matter how ugly it gets. I’m a firm believer that right before things work out in your favor, you’ll go through the ugliest times just to see if you are truly committed to the life you say you want. This is what separates the bosses from the workers. I want the world to know that while right now Sweet and Savvy may only be a Cake Shop, it won’t be just that for long. It will soon be a household name and I cannot wait to share all I have in store with the world.

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.
If my bestfriend was in town I think we would start by getting our nails done at Anthony Vince Nail Spa. Then we would swing to Sweet and Savvy Cake Shop for something sweet lol! After that we’d probably go home and change for dinner. Dinner would probably be at Crave in downtown Akron or Alexander Pierce. After dinner we would go to The Northside Speakeasy or Baxters Speakeasy for a drink to end the night. This would be a winter weekend, if my bestfriend was visiting in the summer there’d be so much more to do. We might catch dinner and a live concert at Blu Jazz or Musica. We could swing downtown during the day for one of the food truck fests and concerts at Lock 3. In the morning we can do a workout class with Grit Fit or Yoga at Locke 3. Maybe swing by the Akron Art Museum then head to Uncorked Wine Bar or El Patron for a midday happy hour. Although Akron is small and is known for being boring with not a lot to do, I think the city is moving in the right direction to modernize and update the downtown area to make it thrive and pop like a bigger city. I’m excited to be able to be apart of it during this “renaissance” period.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutouts first and foremost would be my parents Rodney and Tracey Griggs. There is nothing I can’t count on my dad for when it comes to the bakery since he is my general contractor. I am 100% confident in his skill set, craft and creativity that i dont think I would want a bakery if he wasn’t the one to do it. He doesn’t miss a beat. My mom on the other hand is my voice of reason, she keeps me level headed and keeps me going. There are so many late nights and tears you cry from frustration and lack of help and no matter what time it is she will help without question or complaining. While she isn’t confident in her baking skill set yet, I am and I’m grateful that she’s willing to learn a and help for the sake of my business. Sweet and Savvy is not Sweet and Savvy without my parents or my involuntary workers, my sisters Briannah and Moriah Griggs! Family is the most important thing to me, I wouldn’t be who I am or what I am without each one of them and their sacrifices.

Website: www.sweetandsavvy.shop

Instagram: Sweetandsavvyy

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/sweetandsavvyy

Other: Tik Tok: sweetandsavvyy

Image Credits
Black and White Sweet and Savvy Shirt Picture: Akron Beacon Journal Everything else was photographed by Dazmine Baker (A Positive Image Photography)

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