Clad in a Santa hat while roaming around her local mall, DeAnna Scott sold cookie jars, her first product, to shoppers on Christmas Eve in 2020.
Little did she know that her first sales would become the initial steps to starting her own small business, a home bakery called “Deez Munchies.”
“Within a couple of hours I actually sold out of everything that I made just by walking around,” Scott, a senior criminology major, said. “I actually was really scared, but I already made these batches of jars… I knew people were in the market for festive stuff.”
Two years later, Scott’s business has grown far past its cookie-jar beginnings. With multiple customers on campus, Scott has been able to profit from her sweet treats and desserts.
She has designed her own loyalty cards, which allow returning customers to receive four free chocolate-covered strawberries after four orders, and $15 off after eight orders. Chocolate-covered strawberries have become a big part of her sales after she introduced them for Valentine's Day in 2021. Scott also introduced breakable chocolate hearts, a heart-shaped chocolate shell that is smashed open with a mallet.
“I started watching videos on those and wanted to incorporate them into my business,” Scott said. “So I started watching YouTube videos, buying different products, testing out the best methods for me to make them.”
She intended for the products to be a “limited-edition Valentine’s Day thing,” but they were so popular she decided to incorporate them into her business full-time, stepping back from the cookie jars and toward chocolates.
Scott received her first outside-of-the-box order that same Valentine’s Day: make chocolate-covered strawberries in the shapes of birds for a customer’s boyfriend.
“I turned chocolate-covered strawberries into different bird characters by putting different drizzles and sprinkles,” Scott said. ”It was a little out of my comfort zone, but they loved it in the end.”
Outside of Deez Munchies, Scott balances her criminology major, management minor and “multitude of clubs,” including dance organization 8 Count.
“I always tell myself I’m motivated by consequence,” Scott said. “I don’t want to get things done unless the pressure is on, so I guess me doing all of these things is keeping pressure on me and keeping me going.”
She admits she’s had to “lean back a little bit” on her business due to her heavy course load as a senior, but she continues to take orders. Scott arranges her schedule with large gaps of time in between her classes, allowing her to go home to finish orders.
After graduation, Scott is considering working in criminology, opening her own brick-and-mortar store, or following her family’s history in healthcare by studying dental hygiene. She knows she’ll continue Deez Munchies but is thinking about how to navigate the transition from Buffalo to her hometown of Westchester and a new customer base.
“I don’t know exactly where I see myself, but I see myself in something big,” she said. “Even in the small steps that I take now, I want to strive to make the future me or my future family happy.”
Learn more about Deez Munchies at @itsapiece_of_cake on Instagram.
Jasmin Yeung is an assistant news/features editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org