Nicci Julian completed her Business Administration degree in 2018 with an emphasis in leadership. While a student at Chapman University she was running a successful online bakery, Confectious Pastry Shop, which she started in 2015 following education at the Culinary Institute of America. Nicci graciously participated in a Q&A discussing her company growth over the past few years, fueled in large part by social media success.
When did you start Confectious Pastry Shop, and what are some of your offerings?
Confectious Pastry Shop was created in 2015, after I completed my internship at The Pelican Hill Resort. I worked multiple jobs in the restaurant and resort world while attending community college. However, I was not in love with the schedule and lack of creativity, so I started my “online bakery.” Confectious Pastry Shop is an online one-stop-shop for everything sweets. We deliver to all Southern California cities and ship out of state. CPS is known for custom desserts for all special events including weddings, birthdays, and corporate events. Our options include gluten free and vegan desserts.
You are an alumni business within the Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics. How did you get started in the Leatherby Center?
I joined the Leatherby Center post-graduation. Center Director Mario Leone and Professor Jake Aguas asked If I would like to join, and I was beyond honored. I look up to both professors for their continuous support and guidance. In 2019 I was a guest speaker in Professor Aguas’s interterm class.
How has CPS grown since you’ve graduated?
I have noticed huge growth in these past two years, both personally and professionally. I have watched my company grow from a small operation working 24-hour weeks, to now 60-hour weeks and over thirty partnerships and corporations with other small businesses. Once I graduated, I was able to focus on growing my business full time. I also became the vice president of The Elite OC, which is a young professionals networking group in Newport Beach. I am planning to move to a commercialized warehouse kitchen in Costa Mesa next year.
What were some highlights from your time as a student at Chapman in the Argyros School?
The leadership classes were by far my most challenging classes because I am very introverted. I struggled with speaking in front of crowds and feeling vulnerable. However, I am aware of these challenges and have pushed myself by joining networking and leadership groups inside and outside of Chapman. Overall, my life as a Chapman student was amazing. I met life long mentors and friends. Chapman provides an extremely unique education that I am forever grateful for.
What is one thing you value over all others looking back at your time as Chapman?
The most beneficial and important resource I used was the relationships I built with my professors. It wasn’t until my senior year where I made the relationship with Professor Aguas in his entrepreneurship class. I wish I could take that class every year for practice.
How have you leveraged social media and other marketing channels to grow CPS?
Social media has played a huge role in my business. Instagram has been instrumental in business growth. I have a second book coming out soon called, Confectious – “Baking Balanced”-Vegan and GF Desserts. This is a follow-up to my first book, Confectious – Easy Desserts which came out in 2015.
What’s next for Confectious Pastry Shop?
Moving forward, I have learned that my best-selling items are my Famous Almond Sugar Cookies. Many people have seen and know these through corporate orders. They are a soft baked sugar cook with royal icing and come with edible printed images or company logos.
I created a new brand that I am slowly introducing called LIAM’S. LIAM’S is a superhero sugar cookie brand highlighting Liam (who is currently battling cancer), and The Gold Rush Cure Foundation. My goal is to mass produce these sugar cookie boxes, which will be sold to retailers across the country.