In this series, we connect with a diverse group of small business owners across the country to hear their stories – from overcoming hardship to the achievements that have allowed them to grow. There is no doubt that this past year has been a challenging time for business owners, and through elevating their voices we aim to provide advice, support and inspiration for small businesses everywhere. More resources like our Community Business Directory can be found here.

 

Today we are speaking with Astoria Mashack, owner of Sugar Crush LLC.  

 

Tell us about your business and how you got started.

Sugar Crush is a labor of love and passion. I’ve been cooking for many years, but professionally since 2019. The name Sugar Crush literally came from my love of sweets and great food. I actually made my own baby shower cake and my daughters first birthday cake (when I look back at those pics my first thought is what was I thinking?). When I was working in healthcare I was frequently asked to cook for potlucks and to bake cakes for various coworkers’ birthdays. A coworker said you should be doing this professionally. It wasn’t the first time that I’d heard that, but it resonated at that moment because I wasn’t happy with healthcare anymore. I did all the legal stuff and here we are. At Sugar Crush our goal is to deliver the freshest and tastiest foods that the palate can handle……or not.

 

How are you involved with your community?

Sugar Crush is down for the cause, any cause. We don’t discriminate. We always want to support and give back. I come from a family of cookers and givers. My grandmother would bring homeless people off the street and feed them, so donation and community service is in my blood. Most recently we donated nearly $1000 worth of baked goods to a Queens family of a young boy that died senselessly to gun violence. 

 

How has this pandemic impacted your business over the last year?                        

COVID-19 has been extremely rough on my business and I know I’m not alone in this. At the onset of the pandemic, I had events booked and an overflow of orders. I’ve had to return over $10,000 to customers because of COVID-19 and that hurt me mentally, emotionally and financially. I was hoping to have had a store by now, but things happen that are out of our control. I will get it. I can feel it in my soul.

 

How will support from your community positively impact your business?

Whenever I think of my business I think of the community, because aside from my family and friends, that is my support system. I am a no different than my community and Sugar Crush LLC shows that. We will put out a great product and deliver outstanding customer. People want to feel like their hard-earned money counts, and at Sugar Crush it does. We don’t care if you spend $1 or $1000, support is support and it will be glorified and appreciated.

 

What advice do you have for other organizations in your industry?

My advice for others in my industry is to practice a role reversal and put yourself in the shoes of your consumer. How would you want to be treated? Would you want to be served the way you’re serving? Would you eat what you’re selling/serving? You have to do it because you should never produce a product that you wouldn’t accept for yourself. I’d also recommend researching the industry and learning it for yourself. Don’t give discounts (not even to friends or family). Follow people on social media that are successful at doing what you’re embarking on and listen to them, follow their lead, let them guide you and learn from their mistake. It’s free mentorship. 

 

Check out Sugar Crush LLC on instagram @sugarcrushnyc.