The Scone Shop owner, Fielding Williams, 50, is from Beaufort, N.C. In 2007, one of her three sons needed items for a school fundraiser. They made homemade, slice-and-bake cookie dough. They all sold quickly.
“That morphed into frozen, ready to bake scones,” said Williams.
She decided to turn it into a business to raise money to pay for household expenses like summer camp and Christmas gifts.
Williams used her cooking bible, “The Joy of Cooking,” as a starting point. She experimented with chocolate chips and cinnamon chips. Her family members, much to their delight, were the taste testers. She started out selling to people she knew during November and December of 2007.
At some point, she realized she had 400 customers and decided to get serious about her business.
Although Williams’ business is called The Scone Shop, there is no brick-and-mortar building. Williams sells her scones in the frozen section at Whole Foods, Reid’s Fine Foods, Healthy Home Market and The Good News Shop in Christ Church. The sweet flavors are chocolate chip, cinnamon chip, butterscotch/chocolate, cranberry orange and butterscotch/chocolate chip. Spinach feta is the only savory flavor for now.
Scones may also be ordered online and shipped within a two-day radius of North Carolina. Prices range from $13-$17 for an eight-pack of sweet scones or 12-pack of savory scones.
C5 interviewed Williams for the Small Business Series:
What set of life experiences have helped you build your business?
“My father was an entrepreneur. He owned a hardware store. He actually was a professor and did it part-time. My mother made things to sell to help raise money for our summer camp. She showed me that I could do something on my own.”
What piece of advice do you wish someone had told you before you started The Scone Shop?
“How wonderful the food community is in Charlotte. I have gotten so much support from other business owners in the food industry. They have been generous with their advice and with their connections. And they really want you to be successful. They want to give you advice to avoid the snags they ran into. They have been pivotal in this whole experience.”
How do you market your business and products?
“Through the website, social media, demos, taste testings at stores, press releases and food expos.”
Why do you get up in the morning?
“I love what I do. I love the flexibility of exercising when I need to or want to, getting my business done any time of day. I love meeting new people. And so when I do these demos or I go to make deliveries, I have expanded my circle of people that are not just like me. I love meeting new people who are different than me and that do different things. ”
How did you choose the last book that you read?
“I am interested in history and we had a speaker to come talk to the Colonial Dames (an historic preservationist group), which I am a part of. The book that I am reading is called ‘George Washington’s 1791 Southern Tour’ by Warren Bingham. George Washington, as a leader, was the first public leader for our country. He is an amazing person to me. This book details his trip from Philadelphia to Savannah. He wanted to make sure that he understood the people of this country.”
Photos: Rusty Williams Photos
Family history and my own fascination with people and their motivations prompted me to begin this series about Charlotte’s small business owners. Industry, situation and questions will vary. Have a suggestion for a small business owner or entrepreneur to interview? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Small Business Series.”