By Taylor Boyd
A start-up business that began last year is holding a promotional scavenger hunt to help get its products into the hands – and mouths of potential customers.
Monica Hughes, who owns and operates Olivia’s Goodie Shop, said she decided to start the online shop to pursue doing what she loves.
“I am a stay-at-home mom, so I have to be at home with my daughter and cook. I decided to start doing what I love, which is baking, cooking, and doing crafts, and turn it into a business,” she said.
Hughes said she spent her childhood in the kitchen with her mother and grandmother. That experience ignited her passion for cooking. While she grew up making comfort foods like stews, macaroni & cheeses, and ‘the works,’ she had to learn on her own how to create baked goods like cakes, pies, and stuffed waffles.
“At first, I wasn’t very good at it, but I enjoy the fact that I researched how to do these things, and I researched how to do them to the best of my ability. The fact that I did do all the research” translates into “positive feedback on the things that I’ve created,” she said.
Olivia’s Goodie Shop, which is named after Hughes’ daughter, offers a variety of baked goods, soaps, candles, and tumblers. While the baked goods come from her love of cooking, the other items are things Hughes already created for her family that she decided to add to the store’s inventory.
Hughes said during her childhood there was a goodie shop near her house that sold a variety of items. “They didn’t just have food there. They had things like candles, infusers, and incense. So, it just reminds me of when I was a little kid,” she said.
While she was worried about making the leap into creating her own small business, Hughes said the feedback she has received thus far has increased her confidence about the endeavor.
However, she noted that the biggest challenge she is facing is the pandemic and not being able to have one-on-one contact with customers. “I believe people react differently when you have that face-to-face conversation and contact,” she said.
Because of the pandemic and her lack of a storefront to sell her products, Hughes has used social media to promote the online store and “get the word around,” she said.
A Valentine’s Day Scavenger Hunt also is planned. “I noticed that Stuart’s really close knit and on the smaller side, so I decided to do a local event,” she said.
Hughes plans to find a couple of local businesses, and place clues primarily online as to where the treats are. “It might be a clue like ‘this place is known for their good burgers,’ and I’ll post a picture of inside of the store and then the hunt will begin,” she said.
Participants will have to find where that picture is, and then snap a picture of the clue before sending the picture to Hughes to receive the second clue. “Then they will move so on and so forth until they find the fourth clue,” she said.
After each clue is found, participating business owners will reward the hunters with a goodie provided by Hughes. Goodies may include jumbo chocolate chip cookies, honey nut cheerio peanut butter treats, white chocolate Almond Joy type treats, and chewy peanut butter cookies.
The first person to find all four clues will be the winner, and “receive a custom Olivia’s Goodie Shop gift box and a $25 Walmart gift card,” she said.
Hughes said there are currently 27 people and three businesses interested in participating in the hunt.
For more information visit Facebook.com/Olivia’sGoodieShop, https://oliviagoodieshop.com, or www.instagram.com/oliviasgoodieshop.