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Daily Inspiration: Meet Alysia Augustine

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alysia Augustine.

Hi Alysia, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
It all began with my husband, David Augustine. He would bake full sized cheesecakes for family and friends. Everyone loved them. When we became a couple we decided to make the cheesecakes smaller. One day while getting brunch, we coincidentally discovered a farmer’s market right outside of the restaurant. After eating we walked through the market and immediately knew we needed to get into events like that. We did our research, got membership at a commercial kitchen and obtained everything necessary to become an official business. We started selling at Farmer’s Markets throughout Tampa Bay every weekend. We even started partnering with other local restaurants that began selling our cheesecakes. Now it wasn’t just David in the kitchen baking, I was in there too! Covid-19 impacted all of this. Farmer’s markets and restaurants we partnered with had to shut down. Everything was up in the air! We had no idea what was going to happen next. Fortunately, the owner of Pro Kitchen HUB Tampa, Kristin Mckinney- Zelinsky had already been working on creating a retail space for her kitchen members, called The Bakery Box Pop-Up. It was just what we needed!

A safe space, connected to the kitchen with a To-go window for our customers to come pick up their favorite cheesecakes! Despite all of the darkness of 2020, God was shining his light on Augustine’s Cheesecakes. We began selling out at The Bakery Box Pop-up! Our customers were driving from near and far to support us. Soon, food bloggers were writing about us, and people who had never heard of us in the almost five years of us being open, were coming to enjoy our cheesecakes! Augustine’s Cheesecakes was growing in the middle of a pandemic! In December of 2020, Pro Kitchen HUB Tampa owner, Kristin offered us the opportunity to take over a newly vacant space in the kitchen as a storefront. January 23, 2021 was the grand opening of Augustine’s Cheesecakes as a storefront! We’re very excited about the future!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The entrepreneur journey is full of curves and bumps along the way! We’ve learned that consistency is key and always be willing to pivot when you need to. One of the toughest things for us is working our full time jobs while growing our business. We have had many days where we’ve worked our full time jobs, then came to the kitchen to bake until the early morning, went home to shower, get dressed and head back to our full time jobs. In September of 2020, I was able to take a leave from my job and work Augustine’s Cheesecakes full time. David still works his full time job, but things aren’t as strenuous now that I can get the majority of the baking done during the day now. He jumps in after work and helps finish up the rest of the baking.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Although we specialize in mini cheesecakes, we still take orders for full sized cheesecakes too! We’re proud that so many people have decided to make Augustine’s Cheesecakes their favorite cheesecake shop.

Can you share something surprising about yourself?
I really love to encourage people to pursue their dreams and make them become a reality. I plan on starting a podcast soon! Stay tuned!

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Image Credits
Augustine’s Cheesecakes

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