We had the good fortune of connecting with Kady Miller and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kady, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My love for baking started when I was about 6 years old. I learned how to make Bisquick blueberry muffins from the recipe on the box. It didn’t take long before I was baking all different kinds of muffins, and I would bring them to school and sell them at recess! That was when I fell in love with baking. Going into high school I knew I wanted to be a pastry chef. I tailored all of my classes around business management. In fact, I had a business management project in my freshman year of high school. We had to partner with a local business, and work one on one with them for a few weeks, and then document what we learned. I knew immediately where to go, my favorite restaurant in town. I got my first ever behind the scenes tour of a restaurant kitchen, learned their secret recipes, and made my first tiramisu! I was hooked. After my project was over, the restaurant was so impressed with me, they allowed me to come in once a week and bake cream puffs (my specialty), and they sold them on their menu as a running special. I was 14. After completing a baking program within my high school, I graduated and attended Johnson and Wales University for Baking & Pastry Arts. This is when I learned that I loved baking so much, that I didn’t ever want to do it for anyone else. I was either going to own my own bakery, or I would be the friendly neighborhood baker. But I wasn’t going to burn out on my passion for someone else. So, I worked in a few coffee shops, did some light baking. And then left the industry all together and started working for a bank. I saw this as a great opportunity to learn the financials of lending, business banking, budgets, etc. I loved it! And I did really well as a banker, but I couldn’t shake that deep nagging feeling that told me I wasn’t doing what I was destined for. After moving to Texas, and working my way up to restaurant manager at Hopdoddy, and having my son, all plans were put on hold so I could be the best Mom possible for him. After my son got a little older, I knew I had to leave the restaurant industry, and I found a 9-5 marketing manager position! I learned a lot, and really loved the branding aspect of marketing. This was the final piece of the equation I needed to learn for my bakery. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long, and I was laid off after a year due to volatile markets. This was it. I was laid off in February of 2019, and Alchemy Bake Lab became a registered entity with the state of Texas on February 26, 2019. What started as selling muffins at recess, has finally come to fruition 28 years later. And here we are!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I kind of already answered this in the first question. But I will add this, I’m a firm believer in a strong work ethic. Being genuine, unconditionally kind, working just as hard if not harder than my employees, and always wearing a good smile! Smiling is infectious! When I meet someone, they are met with a genuine smile. When I’m on a phone call, I’m smiling! I couldn’t change if I tried, and I believe it has lead to a lot of my success! Another important principle I believe in is staying humble. No matter what success comes, it can all change in the blink of an eye. And that should never be looked over. Being a humble, genuine, hard working human being is something I value.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Honestly I’m a pretty big home body! After working in restaurants for 15 years, I don’t find myself dining out much. If my best friend (shout out to Shannon) were to come down here for a week, we would absolutely spend a lot of time grilling in my back yard, in my pool, soaking up the sun and laughing so hard we cry. I would try to fit in some of my Houston favorites though! Velvet Taco is in my top 5, followed by Killen’s BBQ, Taste of Texas, Lupe Tortilla, and Freddy’s (don’t judge)!
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?
I would like to give a shout out to every single person who I’ve met along the way. So much of my story would be different if it wasn’t for a lot of amazing friends who have helped, supported, and encouraged me along my journey. However, my loudest shout out belongs to my husband, Jonathon Miller. There is absolutely no possible way Alchemy Bake Lab would’ve been born when it was if it wasn’t for the support and love he gave me unconditionally when I doubted myself in the beginning. When I was testing my recipes and formulas in the beginning, he was my taste tester, and he was a harsh critic, but I love that about him because he understands my drive for perfection. My goal. A mini dessert that was adorable AND tasted amazing.
Nominate someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.