Mt. Airy Business Cooks Up Opportunity on Netflix Show
Power-Up Grad and Baker competes on Netflix show, "Sugar Rush"
Imagine having your business on a television series that would seen by millions.
That's what happened to baker and cake decorator Jennifer Low, owner of the Frosted Fox Cake Shop in Philadelphia's Mt. Airy neighborhood. Low competed on Netflix's newest cake decorating reality show, Sugar Rush, released July 13.
Great opportunity, but, for business owners, the key to having an opportunity is knowing how to take advantage of it, said Low, a recent graduate of Community College of Philadelphia’s Power Up Your Business small business development program.
"That was hammered into us at Power Up—seizing the opportunity when it's handed to you," she said.
Funded by the city of Philadelphia, Power Up, a free program run by the Community College of Philadelphia, teaches business know-how to entrepreneurs. Using a peer-to-peer learning model, business owners, aided by seasoned experts, create tactical plans for growth and hiring. What they learn helps their businesses, their neighborhoods and the city.
"We are excited for Jennifer and the opportunity she has to use the tools and resources from Power Up to promote her business," said Pearl Wang-Herrera, director of Power Up Your Business at Community College of Philadelphia.
Low credits Power Up “with a real shift in my mentality. I used to be someone who likes to decorate cakes," she said. "Now I understand that my job is not just to decorate cakes, but to run a cake decoration business." Low hired a dishwasher and a store clerk for her bakery so she could focus on running her business and decorating cakes, instead of scrubbing pans and ringing up brownies.
In 2017, Low and Peri Anderson, who owns Brooklyn Girl Bakery in Phoenixville, teamed up to apply to audition for Netflix's Sugar Rush. The two had worked together at the Night Kitchen Bakery in Chestnut Hill prior to starting their own businesses.
After many interviews on the phone and via Skype, they were selected and flown to Los Angeles to film the series. In each episode, four teams of bakers and decorators compete in three elimination rounds. Winner of the last round, the Cake Challenge, takes home $10,000. Low and Anderson did well in Episode Three, which had a "Holiday Celebrations" theme.
"It was very nerve-wracking," Low said. "You are under timed pressure and if things aren't working out, you have to make quick decisions." She said the production crew did everything possible to make them comfortable and not ratchet up the drama.
"We did that on our own," she laughed.
The filming took place before Low enrolled in Power Up, but the episodes were released after she had graduated, having learned many lessons in promotion and branding. On the night the episodes debuted, for example, Low held a watch party and made the desserts on the show for family, friends and major customers. Since then, she's been talking it up on social media.
"You have to be on the ball and promote," Low said. "Power Up stressed the importance of visibility and getting your business out there."
About Power Up Your Business
Since Power Up began in 2017, 80 businesses in all 10 City Council districts and in 26 zip codes have graduated in five cohorts, with classes held at the College's main campus and regional locations. Of the participating businesses, 84 percent are minority owned and 71 percent are owned by women. Registration for the next cohort ends July 28, with classes set to begin September 5 on Main Campus, 1700 Spring Garden Street. Individual workshops on business topics will be held in the fall at the College’s West Regional Center, 4725 Chestnut Street. For more information, visit Power Up’s website, email email@example.com or call 215.496.6151.