Hi, I’m Abigail.
My story starts way back when I used to go shopping with my mom. Going to the store was a favorite activity of mine at the age of 8 and started to develop a love for business organization. I appreciated how everything and everyone worked together and admired the shelves and shelves of food all stacked neatly waiting for a home. Things were clean and orderly, just how I liked them.
The year I turned 8 years old my parents started a CSA farm; A farm whose veggies are divided between shareholders. The Farm was one of a couple businesses my parents started while I was little and I feel it is appropriate to say that I owe a great deal of my entrepreneurial spirit to my wonderful Dad and Mom. I loved helping with the farm. Bagging lettuce and making baskets for our shareholders was interesting to me.
This was when I started to sell my little 8 year old picture art. (pictures that my brothers and I drew) when my mother found out she sat us down and told us that if we wanted to sell something to someone we needed to offer something of value.
I was almost 9 years old when I got the idea to sell bread. I remember one night my dad telling me about a girl, who was a couple years older than me, who sold bread and earned $2,000 to save up for her mission! This is probably a great time to mention that I have always wanted to serve as a volunteer for my church to teach people about Jesus Christ. I remember my dad said something like “You could totally do that Abigail! Pay for your mission with your own business” I remember feeling like my dad thought I could do anything I put my mind to. He has always believed in me and all my siblings and helped me see that the “only limit to what you can do is your belief and imagination”. He’s taught me to never give up on my dreams even when the journey feels impossible.
I wanted to do it! “I want to start a bread business” I said to which my mother replied something along the lines of “You can start selling bread as soon as you are ready to do it all by yourself”. It’s here that I’d like to say that I started working hard, on my own, and became a successful business woman but if I’m truly honest I remember feeling that starting to sell bread was a lot of work, of course my dad would help me with the business side but baking all by myself seemed like too much. So I put this idea of mine on the shelf for a couple months, maybe even a year.
Finally I talked to my mom, I won't lie there may have been a little begging involved, and she said she would support me! So I started. At first I took my little red wagon up and down my street, then I found a name for the business. One of my best customers asked me to start bringing her bread every wednesday and that's when the idea hit me to offer a sort of subscription weekly, every 2 weeks and monthly. Next came excel sheets and the organization. Little notebooks filled with orders. Tsoon after that we chose our logo and I enlisted my dad to drive me around. From the beginning my brothers were helping me and pretty soon my dad quit his current job and he and my mom worked with me full time fulfilling orders and selling bread.
I remember filling the car full of bread, going door to door, selling our delicious white, wheat and famous cinnamon swirl bread, all recipes from my great grandma Smith who taught my mom how to make bread. We had up to 300 customers all around the city and it was at this point, I was 11 years old, when my dad decided to finish school and we moved to virginia and a year later to Provo Utah where Abigail’s Oven as we know it now started a year after that. At this point I was 14 and selling bread on the weekends after school and soccer. We had found someone who made sourdough who taught us about San Francisco sourdough at a class we attended. This class opened our eyes to the wonders of fermented bread. Not only could my dad eat the bread without feeling bloated but sourdough has very high nutrition, tasted delicious and many people loved it. So despite it being hard to make we decided to make more and pretty soon our customers helped us completely switch over to sourdough by preferring sourdough to our other options.
In 2015 my parents officially partnered up with me to make Abigail’s Oven bread available in health food stores around utah. We have since, for seven years, found our own building, hired new team members, started our own store front and been so blessed to be a part of a wonderful community. We have met and worked alongside some of the most amazing people and learned so much from many.
Looking back sometimes I wonder what in the world I was thinking when I started a family bakery, I definitely must have been a little crazy but more often I look back with gratitude for all I have learned, for the people I’ve met and for my wonderful parents and family who really made this dream of mine a reality. Without them the bakery wouldn’t be here. I’ve also learned that too often we limit ourselves. There were many times when I didn’t see success or when we were barely scraping by and I wondered if all the hard work was even worth it. Every time this happened my parents' encouragement and support helped push us through.
Above all, the best part of Abigail’s Oven is helping people eat good quality bread. Some can only eat sourdough and although this was not my original motivation/intention it has since been the driving force for my parents and I. Real sourdough has changed my world and I hope it can make yours just a little bit better. Thank you.