Kuchentratsch is a social start-up from Munich, where grandmothers and grandfathers bake cakes together. In the bakery, they can make new contacts, pursue a meaningful activity and earn a little something in addition to their pension. The ‘granny cakes’ are sent by post to private and corporate customers throughout Germany and are delivered in Munich by grannies and grandpas. From the most favourite recipes, baking mixtures for home baking were launched in 2020. The biggest success so far was the 2018 TV appearance on the German version of ‘Shark Tank’.
Katharina Mayer, a graduate of the Non-profit, Social and Healthcare Management Bachelor program, was available to talk to us and answered the most interesting questions about entrepreneurship:
What motivated you to begin your own start-up & would you do it again?
During my bachelor studies, I dealt with the topic of development cooperation. The question came to my mind more and more often: Why travel halfway around the world if there are enough burning issues on the ground? At the same time, I am a huge cake fan and I asked myself, far away from home, why there is no other place to buy such delicious cake like those, which my grandmother made. This gave me the idea to start a business with homemade cakes from grandma and grandpa: Cake gossip. At Kuchentratsch, grandma and grandpa can meet new people, live out their passion for baking and earn a little something on top of their pension. I was 24 years old at the time. And yes, I would do it again, of course with the knowledge of all the mistakes I have made so far.
What was the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge for me was actually right at the beginning: I had to convince my family and friends that not using my education to start a high-paying, secure job as an employee, but rather starting my own social enterprise with grandmothers, grandpas and cakes was the right decision to make. At the beginning, I was confronted with many doubts surrounding me, but this was all the more reason to display the first successes and to realize that it was worthwhile to believe in my idea and myself.
In your opinion, what is the most important characteristic of a successful entrepreneur?
Persistence! But also a large portion of optimism, a pinch of naivety and a lot of drive. At the beginning, I just started out without knowing what exactly was in store for me. When things got difficult, I didn’t throw in the towel right away, but asked myself what I could take away from the situation for the future. That was important, because you grow with the tasks and learn so much along the way. If I had known at the beginning what I was facing, I might not have dared to start.
The likeable entrepreneur loves her social enterprise, and cake. Photo: Huvermann.