The beginning of Grace Kelli Cupcakes started innocently enough as the gourmet cupcake and treat business started when Sandra Mathis sold treats to raise funds for her daughter’s pre-kindergarten graduation in the Bronx.
After hearing positive feedback from customers, Mathis – who named the company after her daughter (Grace Kelli McNeill) — branched out by selling treats to dental and doctor’s offices. Since the dental office where Mathis was employed was in a mall setting, she visited those stores and received more orders.
Upon moving to Staten Island, Mathis saw a flyer about the Food Business Pathways free business training program for New York City Housing Authority residents. Since she always wanted to start her own business, Mathis inquired about the program. That turned into a great idea as the program put her in touch with the right people to eventually incorporate her business and turn it into an LLC.
Like every new business owner, Mathis has had some ups and downs in the early going, but she has already seen the value of joining the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. When she ran into an issue, the Chamber was able to refer her to the appropriate city agency which informed and guided her about the best way to resolve the issue.