Do What Makes You Happy

Do What Makes You Happy

Encouragement from friends and family sparked Stephanie Grants decision to put her baking skills to work and start a cupcake side hustle.

“I always liked to bake, and I wanted to do something fun on the side,” said the owner of Sassy Sweet Cups. “I mostly gave away more than I ever did sell (in the beginning).”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Stephanie's family moved home to Pictou County, where the entrepreneur grew up. For Stephanie, the pandemic provided perspective on a lot of aspects of her life, one being the importance of being close to family.

“(Covid) kind of changed everything for us.”

Being back home was great for Stephanie and her family, and being close to her oldest daughter and new grandchild was a great source of happiness. But her job as a care assistant had started to take a toll. “I needed something for my mind to escape that caretaker role, because I found it very challenging,” she said.

With all three of her children settling into their young adult lives, she decided it was time to do something for herself, seizing the opportunity to turn her side hustle into her full-time job.

“So, I signed up for the market, and it just kind of exploded from there,” said Stephanie. “There was nothing spectacular, it wasn’t like a big revelation moment, it was just like, I’m going to make cupcakes, and then it bloomed.”

Living away and experiencing events like the Calgary Stampede inspired Stephanie to create a spread of cupcake flavours you aren’t likely to find anywhere else, including her popular dill pickle cupcake. 

Owning her own business has allowed her to continue to stay creative with her flavours. However, certain ingredients require refrigeration, and a permit to sell at the market.

Between the New Glasgow Farmers Market, other local markets nearby, and pop-up markets and events, Sassy Sweet Cups has kept Stephanie busy. But she says she could be busier, with the space to grow and expand her creative menu.

Opening a shop was something Stephanie had kept in mind for the future. When the demand began exceeding her capacity in the market circle, she began putting those plans in motion.

“I came to Pictou County Partnership, and then places were recommended. … it just seems like a lot of things happened in the last 3 years of my life, and everything is falling into place as it should be.”

“There really is nothing else around like this,” said Stephanie. “There's wonderful bakeries in the communities, but none of them do what we’re going to be doing, there’s a lot of surprises coming with a different vibe, and I think that comes from living out West for so many years,” said the entrepreneur.

From growing up baking pies and chocolate chip cookies with her nan to opening her own shop, Stephanie is an entrepreneur to look up to. Growing up, she recalled the older generations of women in her family going out for lunch on Wednesdays. In honour of her aunt and grandmother who have passed, and her mom who is still here, offering something special to seniors on Wednesdays is an important piece of her business model as she prepares to open the store front location in the near future. 

Sassy Sweet Cups is the definition of a passion project. Leaving a situation where she no longer felt fulfilled, Stephanie has created a work life that excites her. She has built a business where her creativity can run, a business to be proud of, and there's nowhere she would rather do it than Pictou County. “When you’re a mom, you kind of lose yourself sometimes," she said. "I enjoy this, I love this … I love making people happy. Cupcakes make people happy...I’ve seen the highs and the lows of Pictou County, and the support that Pictou County shows toward their small businesses is amazing.”

The Sassy Sweet Cup storefront location is set to open in early 2024! Stay tuned for more details.