Startup of the Month – Confections by Casey Renee

Confections by Casey Renee

Q: Could you tell us about Confections by Casey Renee?

A: Confections is all things desserts. I do wedding cakes, catering for events, cakes for all celebrations and I’m very excited to be the freelance pastry chef for the new TRYP hotel that is opening in Lawrenceville. I will be making a few of their desserts and also pastries for the restaurants and coffee shops. Currently I am the only full-time employee. I have an assistant that has been helping me here and there, but I’m hoping to have her as a more permanent position in the next few months.

Q: Where did the inspiration for the company come from?

A: Last year at this time I was at a crossroads in my career. I was ready to move on to a new adventure but did not want to work under any more chefs or corporations. I wanted to do things my way. And I wanted to be my own boss. It took a lot of soul searching and I started reading this book called “Creative Living” about being open to the universe and it’s swirling ideas. The idea for my business came to me and I couldn’t shake it. I was scared but everything started lining up and opportunities became available for me to learn how to start a small business. I just kept saying “Yes” to everything.

Q: What made it possible for you to start Confections by Casey Renee?

A: The support I had from a handful of friends that are small business owners. Seeing them succeeding and working every day on their dream made it seem like it was a possibility for me.

Q: What features do you find separate the company from its competition?

A: I believe that the way I do things and who I am separates me. I’ve had a lot of great training in NYC and have worked with world famous chefs. I’ve also had recognition from James Beard Foundation and many publications. But in addition to that I have had many years of therapy and have worked on myself a lot. So, I have developed a way I like things done and a way I want myself and others to feel. And that feeling is transferred to my creations. People experience happiness and love in my work.

Q: Why Pittsburgh?

A: I was born and raised here. I left for 10 years to live in NYC. But I missed my family and I missed a better quality of life, so here I am! So happy to be back.

Q: What are your future plans for the company? Are there any new features coming soon?

A: I am working on finding a space that I can operate out of. Currently I’m working out of Black Radish’s Kitchen.  New features: TRYP Hotel

Q: What suggestions or advice might you have for other startups and entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh (especially when it comes to a food or beverage company)?

A: It’s a lot of hard work and I’m always on the clock, but at the same time I love it so much that it doesn’t feel like a job. It’s scary out there on your own, but network with as many people as you can, and you will find the support you need. Food companies are very hard to make profitable so make sure you do your due diligence and check your numbers.

Q: Anything else you would like for us to showcase about Confections by Casey Renee and its development? (Any of your cakes or products you are particularly proud of from the past year?)

A: I have been really proud of all of the new creations I have put together for the company. I’ve worked really hard to put together vegan and gluten-free menus. I’m always proud of all of my cakes, they are all unique works of art and I usually get very attached to them. haha.