View All Calendars is the default. Choose Select a Calendar to view a specific calendar. Subscribe to calendar notifications by clicking on the Notify Me® button, and you will automatically be alerted about the latest events in our community.

Return to Previous

Event Details

View Map
March 21, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Spotsylvania, VA 22553
Facebook Twitter Email

SBA Women's Month Innovate & Inspire Jill Donaldson, Entrepreneur

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Join us for Richmond's Jill Donaldson's Owner of Pastry Base, entrepreneurial journey as her business boomed from Walmart & internationally! 

After over a dozen years of working in the food industry in Miami, Nashville, and Washington, DC, and training in pastry arts at L’Academie de Cuisine, Pastry Chef Jill decided to bring her passion for simple baking with pure quality ingredients into the homes of others. In 2016 Jill launched her company PastryBase, and soon debuted a line of allergen-free Baking Mixes and Kits called LillyBean, named after Grandma Lilly Bean.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, PastryBase, like most businesses, saw many changes in the market and shifted focus along the way to help accommodate their customers. With the cancellation of industry trade shows, food businesses had to find new and creative ways to introduce new buyers and customers to their products. Finding innovative ways to collaborate with fellow Virginian food makers was a great way to engage the community and provide food products to customers who could not necessarily leave their homes. PastryBase teamed up with their fellow food-maker friends to make boxes of assorted products and help each other deliver via safe porch drop-offs and touchless pickups; they also participated in virtual farmer’s markets, smaller local online boutiques, and diversified their online sales by adding larger virtual retailers like Etsy and Amazon in addition to their own website.

Another way that PastryBase was able to grow during this difficult season has been by starting to export their products internationally. As the COVID-19 pandemic hit and began spreading soon after Jill’s 2019 trip to Dubai, she worried how she would continue growing and developing the new relationships she had built with buyers there as travel became impossible. Luckily, the SBA was quick to find new ways to support small businesses looking to export their products, and was able to pivot the use of a new STEP grant which would help fund international marketing efforts overseas. Because of this effort, PastryBase was able to connect with a marketing firm in Dubai, and launch a campaign to introduce her products to the UAE market. Support from the SBA continues, as Jill relies on their help to enter brand new markets like Canada and the UK.

Reserve your spot here

Facility Submit Event Print Email Event Subscription View RSS Feeds Select on Calendar Expand Collapse Previous Next Down Up Map Share Show more