Timing is everything in cooking, especially baking: undercook a cake and it’s a gooey mess, overcook a pie and the fire department might need to make a visit.
With that in mind, St. Joseph’s Catholic School math teacher Christine Wiethop figured the time was right to start an at-home baking business.
“I’ve thought about having a baking business since college,” Christine said, “but the timing seemed right when a friend asked me about doing a fundraiser with the French macaroons that I make.
“I knew it would be important for people who bought the macaroons through the fundraiser to be able to find me again, so it was time to launch a website … and my baking business.”
So Christine’s creation – Baking Sweet Scents – was born, and what she found was a niche market enhanced by the Cottage Business Law.
The law “allows me to bake in my home kitchen instead of a commercial kitchen. It exempts me from a DHEC (Department of Health and Environmental Control) inspection,” she said. “There are requirements for the types of items I can sell, and there is a limit on the dollar amount I can sell per year.” Christine said it’s easy to obtain a CBL with the application available online. “Once I had the license, I applied for the Simpsonville business license.”
As with all startups, there have been some concerns, the biggest of which for Christine is organization and paperwork. “The most fun part has been sharing my treats with people for the first time,” she said. “My students enjoyed my treats over the years, but it’s exciting when adults try them for the first time.
“I bake with love and prayer, and they (customers) get to taste happiness.”
Besides baking and teaching (Algebra II in the SJCS high school) responsibilities, Christine devotes time to the Greenville Family Partnership, a cause she has supported since she was in high school. GFP offers resources to families to help youth make healthy life choices. She is co-moderator of Teens Rising Against Challenges Every Day (TRACE) with fellow SJCS English teacher Leigh Berman.
“I work with GFP’s substance abuse prevention coordinator to educate our members so that they can help their peers when confronted by these types of challenges,” said Christine. “TRACE members are available to other students to listen and walk with them through any challenges they face.”
An added bonus of Christine’s ventures is that many of her students have started baking and being advocates for various causes in their free time, a result of her positive influence. We can’t wait to see where that might lead for some of them in the coming years.
For now, with husband Josh supportive of whatever challenge Christine tackles, it appears her timing is all in sync.
The website for Baking Sweet Scents is www.bakingsweetscents.com