Behind Her Empire
Quitting Your Corporate Job & Building Your Empire with Helene Godin, Founder of By The Way Bakery
Helene Godin is the founder and CEO of By The Way Bakery, a unique, old-fashioned bakery where each treat is handmade, gluten-free, dairy-free, and certified kosher.
Helene hasn't always been a baker. She spent over two decades as a successful lawyer when she decided that she was ready for a change, and took the bold step of starting her business.
Although she was not an experienced baker, Helene leveraged her skill and passion as a researcher, along with her determination to exceed expectations, to learn and develop delicious gluten-free foods. Through her tenacity, she was able to create a unique gluten-free flour mix that now forms the cornerstone of her exceptional baked goods.
Today her bakery has four locations and can be found in over 80 Whole Foods stores nationwide. Over the past 10 years, her brand has developed a cult following and is beloved by many celebrities.
In our conversation with Helene, we discuss her transition from being a full-time lawyer to entrepreneurship and how this step changed her lifestyle and identity. We delve into how Helene prepared herself for the challenges that lay ahead as well as how she became comfortable with failure and taking risks after her very stable career.
In this episode, we'll talk to Helene about:
* Helene’s long, successful career as a lawyer and how she made the leap to pursue entrepreneurship and open up a bakery. [3:12]
* What it meant for Helene’s sense of identity to no longer be a lawyer. [5:04]
* The long and thorough process of preparation that Helene went through to open her bakery and why she felt confident about this transition period. [6:54]
* The entrepreneurial traits that Helene’s husband recognized in her and the role he has played in her journey. [12:06]
* How Helene identified and developed her passion after a long career as a lawyer. [14:18]
* How Helene took a chance in entrepreneurship by pursuing a field she had virtually no experience in. [16:18]
* Helene breaks down her process for making her business viable in the early stages and how she engineered her gluten-free flour mix. [18:18]
* How Helene conducted market research for her gluten-free products and decided not to be entirely vegan, but still dairy-free. [22:10]
* Some of the major pivots that Helene has had to make in life and business, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [24:56]
* Helene’s transition into wholesale during the earlier days of her business and how she got into her first Whole Foods through tenacity and patience. [28:45]
* How the bakery had to adapt to a much larger new order from Whole Foods in a short period, why they couldn’t say no, and how the company has grown since. [32:01]
* The devastating impact of the COVID pandemic, how it affected the demand for baked goods, and the steps Helene took to keep her bakers on staff. [37:47]
* Helene’s self-care ritual and how it’s developed since the start of the COVID pandemic. [40:33]
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* By The Way Bakery Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bythewaybakery/
* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yasminknouri/
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