Thee Bakery Bar by Bri and Ci is a black-owned bakery in Greensboro, that sells a variety of goods like homemade cakes, pies and cookies. The bakery is owned by best friends and N.C. A&T students Brianna Williams, a junior bioengineering student and Ciara Leasure, a senior marketing student.
Williams and Leasure were both born and raised in Greensboro. Their moms were best friends and they were born only 4 months apart, so they have essentially known each other their entire lives.
During their youth, they both enjoyed baking and their strong bond and shared love for baking encouraged them to start their bakery business together. Williams’ business mindset and time managing skills in combination with Leasure’s creativity and marketing skills allows them to excel as a team.
“We decided to start baking together because of our mutual interest in starting a business during quarantine,” Williams and Leasure said. “We had a passion for baking and a financial incentive that we wanted to gain.”
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has created struggles for many small businesses, Thee Bakery Bar was able to thrive. The two were able to successfully increase their presence on social media, and that allowed the local community to discover Thee Bakery Bar and place their orders.
“The pandemic has [ironically] had a positive effect on our business,” Williams and Leasure said. “We gained many new customers this year and were able to expand our brand.”
When Williams and Leasure first began their business in May, they faced some challenges getting started because they weren’t receiving many orders. Although, once they began participating in pop-up shops and engaging with social media promotion pages, their business began to rise.
“When we first started, we didn’t have much business, so we had to strive to get our name out,” Williams and Leasure said. “We started doing pop-up shops at the Four Seasons mall and participated in other outlets, like black business promotion pages. We also tried to utilize hashtags on social media and advertise our business by word-of-mouth.”
They recently participated in the 2020 Small Business Weekend Pop-Up Shop, hosted at the Four Seasons Town Centre. Williams and Leasure says attending this event allowed them to receive many new customers.
Thee Bakery Bar has also been featured on several Instagram promotion pages, with posts raving about their red velvet cake on Greensboro Black Owned and their Golden Oreo cupcakes on Go Eat, Greensboro!.
Although Thee Bakery Bar offers many desserts, such as their Ravishing Red Velvet Cake, Sweet Potato Pie and Thee Honeybun Cake, Williams and Leasure claim their favorite desserts to make are chocolate chip stuffed cookies and cupcakes.
Their most popular dessert by far is the Oreo Overload Cake and the Strawberry Crunch Cake. They also offer vegan and non-dairy options, which include their Oreo Balls, Dump Cake, and Chocolate Chip Stuffed Cookies.
To place an order with Thee Bakery Bar, you can send a direct message to their Instagram page or through their website. Though their bakery shop isn’t a physical store, Williams and Leasure says that a future goal of theirs is to have an actual storefront for their customers.
For more information about Thee Bakery Bar by Bri & Ci, check out their website at theebakerybar.com or their Instagram page at @theebakerybar.