How Flour Shop Founder Amirah Kassem Built an Empire Out of Sprinkles and Birthday Cakes
But then I realized after a lot of hiring and training that what I want out of a boss is someone teaching me, but that’s also what I want out of my employees in the kitchen. Every single person that I’ve brought in has done it better or knows what they’re doing [more] than me, because I’m also learning. I want the best. So if someone is better than me, I’m like, “I’m hiring you.” I don’t know what I would do without my kitchen manager in New York. I was able to come to L.A. because Stephanie runs [the New York store]. I trust that the production and the quality and everything is to the standard. Good people become family in a company, and that’s how I feel about most of my employees.
The financial advice I swear by
Save money and invest in your future. Anytime that we have extra money, I put it back in myself. I invest in myself and Flour Shop so that it can grow. Investing in yourself is important.
How I manage anxiety
I’m most anxious when I don’t have something to do. The busier I am, the more focused I am on each individual task because I just have to get it done. There’s no choice. But when I am anxious, I usually deal with it by cooking. During COVID, I cooked more than I had ever cooked in my entire life because I had the time. I had to find things to keep me busy, like, “What is the longest salsa recipe I’ve never made because it takes forever?” And puzzles. Oh my God, I love, love, love puzzles. I have just as many puzzles as I do clothes with sequins.
How I reward myself after a good work day
If I’m in New York, it’s Prince Street Pizza. If I’m in L.A., it’s a glazed doughnut from SK Donuts. I’m such a sprinkle doughnut or glazed doughnut type girl. Pre-COVID I was going to New York twice a month. And then right now, not that much, but I’m hoping to get back. I mean, I miss the pizza.
How I reward myself after a stressful day
I instantly go to my daughter because her laughter and joy of not knowing what’s going on just reminds me what is important, and family is that for me. And ice cream never hurts. Unless you get a brain freeze.
My go-to desk snack
I stock mini KitKats in my freezer. I love cold chocolate. I have this crazy pantry, and it usually has Kettle jalapeño chips or sesame sticks or cashews or anything salty in it. But I always need something sweet in between. I’m constantly tasting a new chocolate cake, a new chocolate, a new ice cream, a new something. It just feels like part of my job. But at my desk I love Hot Cheetos.
My go-to thank you gift
Cake or flowers. In New York I use Popupflorist, and in Los Angeles I use Empty Vase for flowers. But usually it’s cake.
My go-to email sign-off
“Sprinkles and smiles.” Every email. And everyone in my company does it now too. I never even told anyone to do it. It just happened naturally.
I have a quote in my book on a giant page that says, “Make the mess.” It just means, let loose, be creative, make the mess. I know that’s specific to a kitchen, but I believe in that in life too. It’s okay. Try things. Go for it. Make the mess, and you can clean it up. As long as you’re still working toward a goal, I think that that’s just a really cool thing. And the back of my book has my favorite quote which says, “A woman’s place is in the kitchen…of a company she built from scratch.”
Jessica Radloff is the Glamour West Coast editor. You can follow her and see what happened the first time she cut open a Flour Shop cake—which is now her favorite—on her Instagram @jessicaradloff14.