2022 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner: Entrepreneurial Spirit
Joy Schmidt (11C)
Joy Schmidt's recipe for success combines equal parts passion for creating unique confections to make celebrations a little sweeter with a commitment to meeting the heart's desires of customers. Added to that is a heaping scoop of entrepreneurial knowledge gained while pursuing a Berry business management degree, a dash of creativity with her brand's name and a heaping amount of hard work.
The sole founder, owner, investor, marketer and operator of Baked Joy since 2011, Joy has built a reputation for excellence. She is known for creating absolutely fresh, custom confections with specialization in high-end decorated cookies and cakes. Joy founded her brand's name while taking an entrepreneurship class at Berry taught by Dr. Paula Englis. Following graduation, she started building a customer base in the Atlanta area. Through the process of incorporation, trademarking, growing and expanding her offerings, Joy has sought to meet a need in her community. Now, with custom packaging, her products are as recognizable as they are delicious. One satisfied customer declared them on par with the best bakeries she'd found while living in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami.
For Joy, the true measure of success is her customers' satisfaction. The sweet words spread by happy mouths speak volumes about Baked Joy and its owner. A customer hired Joy to create a four-tiered cake for her daughter's wedding. Pleased with the results, the daughter recommended Joy to her future sister-in-law who hired Joy to put together the dessert table for her wedding the following year. Each satisfied customer is multiplied into a web of connections looking for a trusted vendor to sweeten the special moments of their lives.
Joy has driven business growth with revenue from opportunities to work with corporate accounts and schools. She creates 800 to 1,000 custom logo cookies for Pace Academy for their annual admissions seasons. Other Atlanta schools ordering custom treats include Georgia Tech and The Children's School. Noteworthy software companies, including Salesforce and Odysseyware, ordered custom desserts for special occasions. She even made custom cookies for a special DoD STARBASE event at Dobbins with Georgia's then-First Lady Sandra Deal.
Baked Joy has grown exponentially, with year-over-year revenue growth. As an entrepreneur and Berry graduate, Joy understands the value of the head, the heart and the hands. She says approaching business through that lens with the goal of balancing all three has been a rewarding challenge.
Challenging herself has also proven a great way to grow. When the Food Network's casting team reached out after seeing Joy's work on social media, she went through their casting process even though she shies away from the spotlight. Making it to the final casting round, Joy was proud of saying yes and challenging herself. She says it is important to have a great business plan and be open-minded about new opportunities. After all, they might lead somewhere pretty sweet!