Specialty Sourdough Bread Business Grows in DSM
In 2021, Bread by Chelsa B launched. The homemade bread business features sourdough, focaccia, sourdough donuts and crackers, buns, cookies and more. Thanks to a supportive community in Greater Des Moines (DSM), Bread by Chelsa continues to provide delicious bread as demand grows.
Chelsa B Q+A
When did you know to take the leap to start something?
It took me a long time to figure out that I should turn what was a hobby into a business. As the demand for bread continued to increase so did this burning in my belly, and that's kind of what enabled me to do it. Based on the people that I was feeding and based on the bread I was baking, I had to grow this business into something bigger than myself. Because the truth is that nobody should be eating subpar bread. So, we might as well make them really good bread.
To what or who do you owe your success?
I don't know if I owe anyone my success, but there's a whole lot of people throughout DSM that have been incredibly supportive in helping me develop the foundation to launch this business. I do think that Des Moines loves Des Moines, and people here want to see small businesses succeed. They are excited for new small business owners, and they want to be involved and really support locals.
How do you recharge?
I try to stay inspired. I travel. I go outside and go for walks. I read cookbooks. I talk with other entrepreneurs. I make sure that I plan time to be outside the kitchen and do things that make me feel like myself.
Brag about your business.
I had a whole career before this and then taught myself how to make sourdough. And here we are four years later with a thriving bakery that I run out of my house. I actually can't make enough bread for the demand, which is incredible. I could never have imagined that I would be in this position and feel incredibly grateful to be in a community that is excited about eating delicious bread.
I had a really hard time thinking of myself as an entrepreneur, and it wasn't until Diana Wright, Startup Community Builder with the Greater Des Moines Partnership, invited me to an entrepreneur's meetup that I even thought that that was a title that I could have. I will say that I never imagined working for myself or on my own, but it has been the best pathway for me to be able to have my own bakery work out of my home and to balance partnership and parenthood and all the different things that come with this complicated life. So, I never intended to be an entrepreneur, but I feel incredibly grateful to be in this space.
What is one routine you follow each day?
I don't actually know that I'm going to follow everything. I take my kids to school, make them breakfast.
What do you love about building a business in the DSM community?
So many things. I am not a native Iowan but have been grateful to have lived in DSM off and on for over a decade. I say this to people all the time. I don't know any other community that is as excited about supporting entrepreneurs, small business owners, people who have creative ideas the way that DSM is.
What's the best piece of advice you've received?
The piece of advice I've received that I come back to time and again is “when you don't know what to do, be still and listen, because the answer will come.” That quote comes from Kerry Rose at Rose Farms in Norwalk, Iowa.
Read more about Bread by Chelsa B here, or find out where to get bread or preorder at breadbychelsab.com. You can also follow Bread By Chelsa B on Instagram for the latest updates.
The Greater Des Moines Partnership celebrates the Greater Des Moines (DSM) entrepreneur community and helps small businesses succeed with one-of-a-kind resources and opportunities for networking. Find out how other entrepreneurs have found success by reading their stories and attending local small business events in the region.