Central MA Up + Comer: The Queen’s Cups’ Renee King
Thursday, December 19, 2013
A conversation with Renee King
SW: Can you describe your career?
RK: I make gourmet cupcakes from scratch, cater weddings and events, and run day-to-day operations at our storefront. I am in charge of food orders weekly as well as additional food shopping. In addition, I handle our social networking aspects and do a bit of marketing for us as well.
SW: What is the best thing about your job? Your life?
RK: The best thing about my job is developing a product that keeps people coming back for more. I was able to be a part of over 20 weddings in our first year, countless birthdays, and all major holidays. It is an honor for me to be a part of people's most special days. The best part about my life is giving my parents something to be proud of. They always told my brothers and I that they wanted to raise independent and hardworking children. I feel that I can finally join my brothers in that aspect of fulfilling my parents wishes for us.
SW: Can you describe a day in your life?
RK: I go to work 2-3 hours before we open and bake additional cupcakes for the day. The first hour is normally baking all of the cupcakes, the second hour is decorating and cleaning up my work area. The last half hour is setting up our display case, labeling the cupcakes, getting the register ready and then doing all the dishes. After we open, I update our social networking sites and then begin baking more for the rest of the day. Throughout the day, we do a lot of cleaning. And of course, tend to the customers as they come in!
SW: What is your dream job?
My dream job is anything that is going to make me happy. I think right now I am living my dream job. I love what I do and I love the people that I have met because of it. I have a woman named Mary who comes in every Saturday morning for red velvet cupcakes. I call her my "red velvet lady". The first thing I do every Saturday morning is make them for her. It's our tradition and she has only missed three weeks out of the year for vacation. She has really impacted my life and I love having those types of relationships. That's what makes a dream job.
SW: What is your favorite movie? Why?
My favorite movie is Good Will Hunting. There are so many aspects of the movie that I like, it's hard to narrow it down but what I like the most is how Robin Williams becomes a positive role model in Matt Damon's life when it seemed impossible at first. Before I opened The Queen's Cups, I wanted to become a counselor for that very reason—to make a difference in someone's life.
SW: What music do you listen to?
I love all types of music but I am mainly into hip hop. My favorite artist of all time is Jay Z. I also love R&B, and Miguel is someone I listen to all the time. His CD Kaleidoscope Dream is a constant for me.
SW: What is your favorite social networking site? Why?
Facebook and Instagram are both extremely important for my business. I am able to reach a whole genre of people in different age brackets. Instagram is my favorite, though, because it allows me to show people that I do have a life outside of work. I post pictures of my dog, my family and friends, my boyfriend, and music I enjoy. I think it's important to show my customers that I am a real person and not just a cupcake.
SW: What do you do away from your career?
I coach basketball for Millbury High School, which is my first love! And I love to hang out with my family, friends, boyfriend, and dog!
SW: Are you involved in the community? If so, how?
I try as much as I can to be involved in the community. Last year I sponsored a basketball clinic team and a T-Ball team, and this year I am sponsoring a Pee Wee girls basketball team. In my first year of business, I donated close to $6,000. When the Boston Marathon bombings took place, we created a fundraiser by selling "Boston Strong" cupcakes and donating 100% of the proceeds (costs and all) to the TUGG Fund and the One Fund. In all, we sold 806 Boston Strong cupcakes and donated $2,350. On Sundays, we also donate to different shelters or businesses. I often leave a half dozen cupcakes outside of my shop, too, for a lucky customer to come pick up, free of charge.
SW: Who or what is the biggest influence in your life?
Without a doubt, my parents are the #1 influence. They have believed in me from the time I wanted to turn this hobby into a reality. They are both selfless and hardworking. My mother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery last month. Even throughout that difficult time in her life, she never complained about her situation, but instead listened to me complain and stress over little things. She is so patient and caring and the strongest woman I know. My dad has also been in the food service since he was 15. He has given me a culinary education for free but he also has shown me what hard work is. He works the entire week at his job and then wakes up at 6 am on Saturday and Sunday to be with me. He has taught me the importance of working clean and staying clean, of experimenting and not being complacent. The best advice he ever gave me was to "think like a bug and then you'll know what to do," meaning if I think like a bug, I'll know exactly where to clean and how important it is. I owe everything to my parents.
SW: What is a fun fact few people know about you?
I did not eat Chinese food until I was 22 when my boyfriend took me to Nancy Changs in Worcester on a date. My life changed that day! It was February 9th, 2011...Now I always eat Chinese food!
SW: What's your favorite quote?
"Failing is a very common thing in society, the unique thing is success."
SW: What do you think creates success?
Dedication and sacrifice creates success. I have dedicated my life to my business. Even when I'm not working, I'm researching for work. I went from working twenty hours a week while in school to working seventy hours a week without a full day off to myself. I have sacrificed my weekends and go to bed early. I have sacrificed sometimes not having a weekly paycheck to keep money in my business. Sometimes it is hard to balance but I know it will be worth it.
SW: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself having a beautiful bakery that I was able to design myself and having both of my parents retired and working there part time. I also plan on owning real estate properties, having a family and a few more dogs! And still coaching basketball, of course!
Central MA Up + Comer is a weekly profile of a member of the next generation as they are making their mark on the Central MA workforce and community. Join us every Thursday for a look at the careers and lifestyles of the local digital generation. If you have suggestions for a profile, please email [email protected].
Susan Wagner is the president of Susan Wagner PR. In this challenging economy, she has begun a new division to offer affordable start-up packages to new and emerging small businesses and non-profit organizations that include professional writing services, websites, collateral, marketing, social media, grassroots outreach and PR campaigns.
Related Slideshow: Women Leading in Central Massachusetts
Who are some of Central MA's high-level female bosses? GoLocal takes a look at some of the leading women in the region in their respective industries, in the private and nonprofit sectors.
Piehler has been the Regional CEO of the American Red Cross of Central and Western Massachusetts since 1993, overseeing a regional area of 1.7 million people in over 200 cities and towns in Central and Western Massachusetts, and a staff of 30 and 400 volunteers.
Prior to working at the American Red Cross, Piehler was the Director of Parks and Recreation for the city or Worcester. Piehler received her bachelor’s degree in park administration from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree from Clark University with a concentration in non-profit management.
Waterman is currently the CEO of Girls, Inc, the non-profit organization meant to help girls navigate through the challenges of growing up female and to gain the skills and confidence to achieve their dreams. Waterman had previously been President of Leading Women Massachusetts, an organization that provides leadership development solutions for women in organizations.
Waterman, who has 20 years of experience in the mortgage banking industry in the marketing sector, received her bachelors of science in marketing from Bryant in 1985. Waterman's awards include the Stevie Awards Honoree for Women in Business in 2010 and the excellence in Board Leadership in 2012.
Penta is the Founder and CEO of Penta Communications, the regional integrated marketing, advertising, web, interactive media, and public relations firm.
Penta has helped senior level management teams develop shape strategic and effective marketing, advertising and public relations programs, and has served on the Board of Directors at Worcester County Food Bank, the Board of Directors at Worcester Regional Research Bureau, and the Board of Directors at Worcester Community Action Counsel. She received her bachelor’s degree from Stonehill College and her executive education from Harvard University.
Sen has been the President and CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club for over 4 years, having previously over 20 years of experience with BJ’s, including having roles as Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President of Merchandising and logistics,Vice President of Logistics, and Senior Vice President of General Merchandise.
Prior to working at BJ’s, Sen has nearly 30 years of experience in mass retail, working with Zayre Corporation and Jordan Marsh Company. Sen has served on the board of Saint Coletta and Cardinal Cushing Schools of Massachusetts and has provided support to non-profit organizations including the Women's Inn at Pine Street, the Neely House and the Cardinal Cushing Centers Springtime Event.
Sen received her Bachelor’s degree from Boston College.
Stone founded Precision Engineering with her husband Peter in 1988. Located in Uxbridge, Precision Engineering focuses on custom metal sheet fabrication.
The company has grown to include 40,000 square feet of manufacturing, assembly and warehousing space, encompassing two physical plants within Quaker Industrial Park.
Stone is a graduate of Syracuse University.
Engelkemeyer was appointed the 7th President of Nichols College on August 1, 2011 and was officially installed on October 21, 2011, where she now oversees a student body of 1,500 students.
Prior to working at Nichols College, Engelkemeyer worked for Babson College, Ithica College, and the Charlton College of Business at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
Engelkemeyer received her Bachelors degree from Stephens college, her Ph.D in Industrial Management from Clemson University, and her M.B.A from East Carolina University. She serves as a peer review team leader for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and served on the board of directors for GOAL/QPC for 20 years.
Rooney, the 13th President of Dean College, as according to the school's website has overseen enrollment that has "more than doubled and overall retention has increased substantially, while new baccalaureate partnerships and programs have been launched to complement the college’s established associate degree programs.
In addition, campus improvements such as new building construction and renovation and Dean’s wireless technology environment have dramatically transformed the campus" -- and under Dr. Rooney’s helm, "Dean College’s financial status has been solidified as endowment has quadrupled from $7.9 million to $32 million."
President and CEO of GFA credit union, Sbrega has been Director of the Massachusetts Share Insurance Corporation, Trustee for Mount Wachusett Community College, and Trustee of Heywood Hospital Credit Union and Freedom Credit Union, and acquired a credit union technology service in Rochester, New York.
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