We had the good fortune of connecting with Ronald Hollis, Jr. and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ronald, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Growing up, and throughout college, I thought I was doing what I was supposed to do. I was “supposed” to go to school, I was “supposed” to pursue medicine, law, or psychology to be deemed successful, and I was “supposed” to join the corporate rat race. I never thought that doing things that made me happy would bring me success. I was miserable in the jobs I worked prior, and didn’t think that I actually had options. One day, I finally decided to do something for myself, and that was to bake. Baking brings me joy, and it allows me to bring joy to others. Pursuing what made me happy is the reason why I started RoHo Bakery.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
RoHo Bakery currently specializes in cakes and cupcakes. I focus on taking a gourmet approach to a classic recipe by expanding the flavor profile with the use of fresh ingredients and unique spice blends. What sets me apart from others is that I’m not afraid to tackle flavors unseen and untasted in cakes. I am known for my red velvet cake and carrot cake. I’m proud to say that in the last year, my carrot cake placed in the final round of the Flavor of Georgia 2020, and in the Top 10 of Dessert Wars 2021, the largest dessert festival in America. One of the things I’ve learned about starting a food business is to just put yourself out there. The more you market your product, the more exposure you will get. Even if it’s just one person, you never know how many people will taste your product or the number of referrals you receive. Most importantly, step out of that fear, and step into your uncomfortable zone. Growing a business is not easy, and I still face issues and learning curves. What helps me to overcome those challenges is reevaluating past failures and successes, coming up with a different approach, and asking for help. A lesson I’m still learning is to never think you’re alone in this process. One of the things I want the world to know about RoHo Bakery is that your purchase is not just a cake – it’s an experience. I’m here to create a lasting memory from the first bite you take. I’m very passionate about food, and I want to share that passion with as many people as possible, one bite at a time.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For all of my people traveling to Atlanta, this is the itinerary we’d follow. For breakfast, Ria’s Bluebird, Highland Bakery, and First Watch. For lunch and just overall atmosphere, The Vortex L5P, Fox Bros for the smoked wings, and Slutty Vegan. To stretch our legs a little, we’ll take a stroll down the Beltline, hike up Stone Mountain, and take a Flavors of Atlanta Food Tour. To bring the evening to a close, we’d go to Ponce City Market, Shakespeare Tavern, and Skyview.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost, there would be no RoHo Bakery without the help, love, and support of my family and friends. Without their continued encouragement and belief in me from the very beginning, RoHo Bakery would have just remained a concept. My mom, dad, and sister are the very foundation that I stand on, and that which they have instilled in me will never crumble. I would also like to dedicate this to my grandmother. Baking has always been a passion. It started with a memory from when I was a small child and my grandmother gave me cookie dough as she made cookies. Growing up, I would always help her in the kitchen, regardless of whatever else was going on. From then on, as cliché as this may sound, the rest was history. I am forever thankful for my people.
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