Meet the Team Behind Healthy Dessert Company, Bougie Bakes
Can't stop, won't stop... eating Bougie Bakes.
Introducing Bougie Bakes, Your New Favorite Healthy Dessert Company
You won't believe me when I tell you this that within 24 hours of receiving a box of Bougie Bakes sweets, they vanished from my kitchen. I waited for my fiancé to come home and we sampled a few of the delicious desserts. The next morning, one was left.
Between getting home from work and waking up from slumber, a little dessert thief consumed some without my knowledge.
Then, when our three-year-old and one-year-old nephews came over asking for "a nice treat," the last bit of my bougie-ness disappeared before my eyes. It had hardly been 48 hours and my Bougie Bakes samples were gone. We like feeding our nephews sweets (usually behind their parents' backs), but this time there would have been no repercussions, as uncle and aunt, if their parents found them with cheeks full of chocolate.
That's because Bougie Bakes, a healthy baked goods company, creates delicious treats without the guilt. Ingredients are organic and sugar-free, which is so surprising because they taste like any other beloved treat sans the bad stuff.
Founded by Megan Bauer, a nutritionist, and Meg Quinn, a brand maven herself, the two found a way to make delicious treats that satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your healthy and balanced lifestyle. With help from Meg's husband, Ryan, the three have started a company that will surely be a household name soon. The guilt-free treats are just that good.
Women.com: How did Bougie Bakes come to fruition? What made you all want to start a business together? What were/are some challenges starting a company?
Meg Quinn: I was on the hunt for a personal trainer/nutritionist to help me get into shape before my wedding, and by some mystery of fate, I met Megan. I became a client of hers first, and we became really fast friends too. One of my biggest complaints when we started working together was the lack of sweets in our workout/meal plan. I have a serious sweet tooth and was getting cravings every night! She brought me over a batch of these bakes she was making for clients and girlfriends to try one evening after our workout, and at first bite I thought they were AMAZING! I couldn't believe something so good was also good for me, and I knew then and there that these had to be brought to market. After our wedding, I remember being on our honeymoon and talking to my husband (who's also involved in the company) about the bakes and the company I hoped Megan would want to start together. As soon as our feet touched the ground in LA, we got started! It took about 6 months for us to get everything we needed in order to launch, and we've been live for about 6 months now!
Megan Bauer: Bougie Bakes started in my kitchen, as a nutritionist who also loves food I wanted to create a healthy treat for myself that tasted like dessert but had none of the negative affects on the body and could be part of any balanced meal. I started experimenting with classic recipes by swapping unhealthy ingredients for healthy ones and began to learn how to convert things through trial and error. I made a batch of our (now bougie) chocolate chip cookies for my girlfriends one Galentine's Day, and they were such a hit that I knew I was onto something and began making them for friends and clients.
MQ: Right now, all 3 of us (Megan, myself and my husband Ryan) are building Bougie Bakes while also holding down full-time jobs. Needless to say, we are VERY busy. It's been a lot of long nights, early mornings and weekends, but ultimately, we're building a brand we're really proud of and are very passionate about, so it's also a lot of fun.
WDC: What experience in your careers or lives helped with creating company within the food industry? How did your respective backgrounds work together when building Bougie Bakes?
MB: As a nutritionist and fitness expert I have extensive experience living a healthy lifestyle and helping others do the same. I don't believe in diets, but knowing the why behind what we eat and what occurs internally with food is so important in making the right choices. I put all my knowledge and expertise into the creation of our bakes to offer a treat that has the science to back it up. Showing people that they can be healthy without deprivation.
MQ: My career has been spent working in consumer products and licensing for both startups and fortune 500 companies, and I'm lucky that this experience has spanned a number of sectors, including Fast Moving Consumer Goods. In my roles, I've worked alongside brands and manufacturers to develop and bring products to market, so luckily I had some relevant experience that did translate. I've always had the entrepreneurial itch to take what I've learned working and apply it to something of my own, but never really had the right idea or product to convince me to take the leap. I feel very fortunate to have Megan's nutrition expertise to balance what I have learned on the business side of the business. My husband, Ryan, has also been involved from an operations/finance /business development side, and together, it really does feel like we have all angles covered. It really is a dream team!
Ryan Quinn: Megan is an unbelievable baker and constantly impresses me with her nutritional proficiency. Meg is a living legend in basically every aspect of business from website development to package design and so much more. I jokingly refer to her as my boss (I guess I actually made that title official on our wedding day last year). Personally, I have been in sales my entire career. I have never been more motivated to sell then when it's my own product and company.
WDC: What have been some surprising growing pains? What have you learned that you are thankful for?
MQ: Everything we've done and accomplished so far has been self-funded and self-taught. It can be discouraging at times, when you're comparing your efforts to big brands with huge budgets. That said, I'm beyond thankful for all we have learned in doing literally everything ourselves. We have been able to creatively do a lot with limited resources. We've learned that there's actually a lot of great people out there who are willing to help too. We continue to be surprised by the amount of micro-influencers who are willing to promote your brand for free if they're a fan. We've learned that it doesn't hurt to ask! We're also blessed with amazingly supportive customers, collaborators, family and friends who's feedback has been instrumental in building our business.
WDC: What was missing in the market that you felt Bougie Bakes could fill?
MB: When I was working with clients and looking for healthy alternatives for them and myself there was lots of gluten free and paleo options, but they still had lots of sugar and carbohydrates that would spike blood sugar and had a nutrition profile similar to regular desserts. I wanted a treat that would not only balance, but keep blood sugar low. I also wanted really quality ingredients that I would find in my own kitchen and ingredients that had health benefits. This is a fundamental part of our bakes and is the Bougie (highest quality) part of bougie bakes.
MQ: It didn't take a whole lot of research out of the gate to realize that the gluten-free market was pretty saturated when we were getting started, but we felt confident that the sugar-free nature of our bakes was something people would be attracted to. With successful brands like Halo Top paving the way and diets like Keto becoming mainstream, we felt very confident that now was a better time than ever to introduce a gluten-free & sugar-free baked goods company.
WDC: What are your next steps? Ideally, where would you want to see Bougie Bakes in five years?
MQ: We are actively working on and launching on a regular basis additional products within the baked goods category, but ultimately, we want to build Bougie Bakes to be so much more than just healthy baked goods. Our goal is to build Bougie Bakes to be a company that offers "good for you" indulgences across a number of different categories/sectors. Megan lives an incredibly healthy lifestyle every day, and has become my go-to for healthy solutions to my daily life. Whether it's giving me advice on what snacks to pick up for a girls night in, or what meal to order at my favorite restaurants, I rely on her expertise every day! It is our mission to share this knowledge with everyone who is working hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Being healthy shouldn't mean you have to sacrifice indulgences!
Try Bougie Bakes for yourself!
Looking for a healthy alternative that satisfies your sweet tooth? Order from Bougie Bakes and use code WOMEN10 for 10% off your order!
From Double Chocolate Chunk to Peanut Butter Blondie Bites, there's something for everyone right here!