How Flour Shop founder Amirah Kassem built an empire out of sprinkles and birthday cakes
But then I realized after a lot of hiring and training that what I want from a boss is someone to teach me, but that’s also what I want from my employees in the kitchen. Every person I brought did it better or knows what they do [more] than me, because I also learn. I want the best. So if someone is better than me, I say ‘I’m hiring you’. I don’t know what I would do without my chef in New York. I was able to come to LA because Stephanie is running [the New York store]. Hope the production and quality and everything is up to standard. Good people become family in a company, and that’s how I feel for most of my employees.
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The financial advice I swear by
Save money and invest in your future. Whenever we have extra money, I hand it over myself. I invest in myself and Flour Shop so that it can grow. Investing in yourself is important.
How I deal with anxiety
I am more anxious when I have nothing to do. The busier I am, the more I am focused on each individual task because I come from have to do it. There is no choice. But when I’m anxious, I usually manage it by cooking. During COVID, I cooked more than I had ever cooked in my entire life because I had the time. I had to find things to occupy myself, like, “What’s the longest salsa recipe I’ve ever made because it takes forever?” Â»And puzzles. Oh my God, I love, I love, I love jigsaw puzzles. I have as many puzzles as I have sequined clothes.
How I reward myself after a good day’s work
If I’m in New York, it’s Prince Street Pizza. If I’m in LA, it’s a frozen SK Donuts donut. I’m a sprinkled donut or glazed donut type girl. Before COVID, I used to go to New York twice a month. And then now, not that much, but I hope to come back. I mean, I miss the pizza.
How I reward myself after a stressful day
I’m going to see my daughter instantly because her laughter and her joy at not knowing what’s going on just reminds me of what’s important, and family is that to me. And ice cream never hurts. Unless you get a brain freeze.
My must-have office snack
I store mini KitKats in my freezer. I love cold chocolate. I have this crazy pantry, and it usually has kettle jalapeÃ±o chips or sesame sticks or cashews or whatever salty in it. But I still need something sweet in between. I am constantly tasting a new chocolate cake, a new chocolate, a new ice cream, a new something. I feel like this is part of my job. But at my office, I love Hot Cheetos.
My essential thank you gift
Cake or flowers. In New York I use Popupflorist and in Los Angeles I use Empty Vase for flowers. But generally it’s a piece of cake.
My referral signature email
âDrops and smiles. Â»Each e-mail. And everyone in my business is doing it now, too. I never even told anyone to do it. It just happened naturally.
I have a quote in my book on a giant page that says, âMake the mess. It just means, let go, be creative, make a mess. I know it’s specific to a kitchen, but I also believe in it in life. Its good. Try things. Dark. Make the mess, and you can clean it up. As long as you’re still working towards a goal, I think it’s just a really cool thing. And on the back of my book is my favorite quote that says, âA woman’s place is in the kitchenâ¦ of a business she built from scratch.
Jessica Radloff is the Charm West Coast Editor. You can follow her and see what happened the first time she opened a Flour Shop cake – which is now her favorite – on her Instagram. @ jessicaradloff14.