Building a "one product" business, layer by layer

Offering a range of products and customer experiences is often considered a key to business success. But what if you only stock one product?

The honey cake (medovnik) is a traditional Czech dessert.

The honey cake (medovnik) is a traditional Czech dessert. Source: SBS

When Perth-based couple George Blazenec and Simona Kapounova took their Czech honey cake to a dinner party in 2012, they had no idea it would change their careers.

What followed was a series of market stalls that were so successful, they now own two stores in Perth, with a view to expanding across the country.

"You could see the hunger," Simona Kapounova told SBS.

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"People were crazy for something that is different, that is handmade, that has different tastes but is still made from local ingredients."

The Honeycake is made using several layers of walnuts, honey and caramel. Simona has been baking it since childhood and never expected it to be so popular.
Honey cakes are makes with layers of cake, creamy caramel and crushed walnuts.
Honey cakes are makes with layers of cake, creamy caramel and crushed walnuts. Source: SBS


When the couple started selling the product at Freemantle Markets in Perth, they were met with some scepticism from other stall owners, who questioned their decision to only sell one type of cake.

"There was one lady, at one farmers market she didn't allow us to trade there because she didn't think we would be successful with only one product," Ms Kapounova explained.

"I think in some ways [having one product] was an advantage because we could focus all our marketing on that and we were able to make it almost perfect."
Simona Kapounova and George Blazenec, founders of The Honeycake.
Simona Kapounova and George Blazenec, founders of The Honeycake. Source: SBS


After investing the money they made back into the business, the pair have expanded the range to include ice creams and a chocolate cake.

The couple were once making 20 or 30 cakes a week, but after investing in a commercial kitchen they're now making close to 400 a week.

"I'd like to open another shop in Melbourne or possibly Singapore, we've got lots of customers from there," Ms Kapounova said.

Their advice to other business owners who have a unique idea?

"Just go and get it out! If you want to start, start small and start local," Ms Kapounova said.

"You will get to know your customers and you will get your target market."

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2 min read
Published 20 August 2017 at 5:35pm
By Hannah Sinclair
Source: SBS Small Business Secrets