Hollie Fraser has worked in the food industry nearly her entire career.
But it was always for other people.
Then, about a year ago, she decided it was time to branch out on her own - concocting crazy, customized, 3D-sculpted cakes for clients out of a rented commercial space.
“It started with me just doing them for family and friends, but then the demand started to grow and my client list got bigger and bigger that I decided to quit my job and start a full-time business,” Fraser said. “I figured this was my time to shine.”
Things went so well that she found commercial space last year at 5548 Hastings Street in North Burnaby and decided to open a storefront business – Punk Rock Pastries.
This is where things got just as crazy as the designs on her cakes.
Most people don’t realize what actually goes into opening a business. It’s a long slog in which things go wrong and obstacles get thrown at you from all directions.
She has hit every major bump there is to open a business, from electrical problems to plumbing catastrophes to delays in getting a City of Burnaby permit – she’s still waiting on that last one.
Now she’s been hit with a $17,000 bill for electrical upgrades.
“You name it, it’s happened to us,” says Fraser.
She sounds weary. She says she’s in a “pickle” but is determined to see her dream come true.
“I know these are the normal hits when opening a business, but this isn’t just any ordinary cake shop – it’s my dream and I won’t stop until the doors are open,” Fraser says. “I want to bring the community together and spread the love of cake.”
After exploring all other funding options, she’s now turning to the public to help raise the final funds. Fraser has a GoFundMe page set up that’s helping.
Now she’s organized the Last Chance Fundraiser – an afternoon of music and fun set for March 9, from 2 to 7 p.m., at Lochdale Community Hall in Burnaby.
Several bands have volunteered to put on a concert and there will be events for the kids. Plus, Fraser will have several of her special creations on display for people to sample.
She says entry is by donation because anything will help, or people can go to the GoFundMe page.
“I’m not kidding when I named it the ‘Last Chance Fundraiser’ – this is our only hope at this point,” she says.