LAKE MARY, Fla. – Austin Blake started his business, Stackd Brownies, while playing around in the kitchen with his family.
“COVID hit and that’s when everything kind of shut down,” Blake said. “Everything was not what was expected. So during that time, my parents were not doing much. I wasn’t doing much during that time and during that time we were in the kitchen. We were playing and food was always in our background. We love food. Going through social media and seeing how viral other baked goods places were all over the country — we’re like, ‘Man, it’d be cool to get in that world.’”
As the family was looking for the best way to break into the bakery business, they discovered that brownies were under-represented online.
“We took it a little bit further and made round crispy edge delicious brownies — because that’s what is everyone’s favorite — it was either ‘Hey, I want the crispy edge’ or ‘I want the fudgy inside.’ So we created a combo of both to create everyone’s happy middle,” Blake said.
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Stackd specializes in brownies, but their menu doesn’t stop there.
“We make more than just brownies; brownie stuffed cannolis, brownie ice cream, brownie croissants — brownie, everything. So we’re a full bakery of brownies, which makes it more exciting than just one brownie,” Blake said.
Once they settled on a concept, Blake and his family dove in headfirst and opened a brick-and-mortar location.
“Our first location in Lake Mary was kind of in like a building type place — if someone looks up, they’ll see we were in an office building,” Blake said. “We were there purposely to prove the concept, to see if we had legs in the market to bring brownies into a retail setting.”
It took a lot of hard work just to get people through the door of the first location.
“It was in an office building. When we told people — because social media we started posting and people like ‘Where’s this place?’ It’s not like it’s an easy ‘Hey, it’s right next to Publix.’ We’re an office building. So we were outside. We were at the farmers market to start to tell people who we are and where we are — like we’re actually a real company,” Blake said.
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The work paid off and the family business has now expanded to four locations around Central Florida. Two of the locations have since been sold as franchises.
“We have great owners that were able to see the opportunity and want to be a part of it,” Blake said. “Things are going very well. We’re actually turning our two other stores into franchises. We’re going to sell those off as well. So then we can basically go full steam ahead into franchising and create a foundation to grow all over this state.”
On the latest episode of Florida Foodie, Blake talks more about his plans to franchise Stackd Brownies. He also talks about the myriad of flavors available to customers and balancing his work while caring for a newborn.
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Florida Foodie is a podcast from WKMG and Graham Media that takes a closer look at what we eat, how we eat it and the impact that has on us here in Florida and for everyone, everywhere. Find new episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you download your favorite podcasts.