From a young age, Lauren Pugh’s parents always knew Lauren had a special gift for baking.
Heather Pugh, Lauren’s mother, remembers sharing fond memories of her and Lauren baking together in their kitchen – she admired her 3-year-old daughter insisting the “consistency wasn’t right” while whisking.
That was how she knew that Lauren was destined to be a baking guru.
It all started with a pitch
In October, we hosted our first-ever Speed Pitch competition during our 2022 SOAR Summit in Pikeville, presented by Appalachian Wireless and the Appalachian Regional Commission.
During the pitch competition, Lauren introduced her business, Lauren’s Sweet Treat, and explained to the audience how she would use her winnings to purchase two pieces of equipment, an edible image food printer and a cookie projector.
She earned $100 by finishing third, but that was just a small dent in the $650 needed to purchase the much-needed equipment to help run her startup business.
Little did Lauren know, she left a lasting impression on one of the audience members attending the event.
When it all changed for Lauren
After hearing Lauren’s pitch, David Shadburne, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for Park Community Credit Union, followed up with SOAR.
Officials from the Park Community Credit Union and he wanted to help Lauren purchase the two pieces of equipment she said she needed.
These pieces of equipment were crucial for Lauren’s business to be able to grow and expand her services.
It was only a matter of delivering the sponsored check to Lauren …
On Wednesday, November 23, 2022, David joined Sabrina McWhorter, SOAR’s Manager of Business and Innovation, and Rodney Khul, Business Coach with the KY Small Business Development Center (KY SBDC), in Hyden to deliver Lauren a sponsored $500 check, presented by Park Community Credit Union.
But the investment into Lauren’s business did not stop there.
Since the pitch, Lauren has worked with Kuhl to narrow down her business and revenue streams. During their coaching sessions, Lauren discovered a market she is thriving in, her cookie kits.
Lauren says this award came just in time for her business’s busiest time of the year, the holidays. Lauren launched her Elf on the Shelf Cookie kit late one night, and to her family’s surprise, she sold 52 kits overnight.
Lauren has been working with SOAR’s Innovation team to build her branding, online presence, and website.
Another big win for Lauren happened in the beginning of December 2022, when she decided to compete in Invest 606’s Starter’s Lab online pitch competition.
Lauren left that competition winning 3rd place!
Lauren’s current goal is to apply to the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs (GSE).
It will only be a matter of time to see where this young entrepreneur and baking influencer will achieve with her baking dreams.
How you can begin making your dream idea into a business
Do you have an idea? We want to hear it!
Here’s how you can make that happen.
- Download our Complete Guide to Entrepreneurship.
- A member of our team will schedule a time to chat to learn more about your idea.
- In the meantime, browse of direct services to see how we launch new businesses and scale existing ones.