Temping baked goods in cheerful Middleton storefront
Shelby Olstad’s sweet tooth led her to start her own cake and cookie business out of her college apartment in 2019, when she was an undergraduate student at UW-Madison. Miggy’s Bakes is named after Olstad’s teddy bear pup, Wrigley. Olstad’s baked goods were so popular that Miggy’s Bakes quickly turned into a high-demand business, and Olstad expanded into her parent’s kitchen in Middleton.
In April 2021, Olstad quit her corporate job to pursue Miggy’s Bakes full-time. In August 2021, Olstad moved operations to Marigold Kitchen in downtown Madison and continued to grow quickly.
In the fall of 2022, she started working with the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at the Wisconsin School of Business at UW – Madison (SBDC). She had been struggling to complete her financial projections, and her real estate broker recommended she contact the SBDC.
“[Before I began working with the SBDC], I felt so in over my head with all of the projections numbers, and the templates I was working through online were difficult for me to use,” Olstad says. “Anne [Inman] helped me truly understand the numbers and feel confident in my decisions.”
In the summer of 2023, Olstad completed the SBDC’s Accounting and Projection Clinic. “It was critical to my business and being able to move forward with my storefront,” she says.
She opened her bakery storefront in June 2023 in her hometown of Middleton. The cheerful, pink space features a rotating menu of delectable cookies, bars, cookie cups, and cakes. The space is available for rentals, and Olstad also hosts cake-decorating classes.
Miggy’s Bakes caters weddings and parties, too, providing cakes, dessert grazing tables, and customized treats. Olstad credits her work with the SBDC with positioning Miggy’s Cakes to be successful beyond her expectations.
“We have seen growth at our storefront that I didn’t even project happening for years down the line,” she says.
Olstad has never had to pay for marketing. “Social media is our key marketing strategy that we will stick with,” she says. “Down the line, I can see paid marketing as a potential strategy when trying to grow to new locations or reach new customers.”
Olstad would love to have multiple locations in Southern Wisconsin, South Carolina, and Florida. “Continuing to build a team that supports this dream and believes we can make it happen is crucial,” she says.
The staff I work with every day is incredible, and we wouldn’t be here without them. I’m always looking to find new ways to do things or create value in people’s lives.”