Founder and former CEO of Tate’s Bake Shop, keynote speaker, and entrepreneur, Kathleen King is a powerful voice for women in business and a promoter of work-life balance.
Kathleen King is the founder of Tate’s Bake Shop, an enterprise that she sold for $100 million and now valued at $500 million. Tate’s has been voted the Best Bakery in the Hamptons for many years and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
Today, Kathleen King is a keynote speaker who shares her experience as a young, devoted baker who developed her passion into a thriving business. But most importantly, King values the ability to step away from a business and maintain a healthy work-life balance. King proudly believes in “paying it forward,” so she invests in other devoted small business owners, most recently Chasin’ Dreams Farm owned by Sydney Chasin.
Kathleen King sprang up from humble roots – she was raised by average farmers in Southampton, NY. Though King began selling cookies for 15 cents a bag at her family’s farm stand, she would turn her passion for baking into a $100 million enterprise.
King credits her upbringing, which valued “standing on your own feet”, with her success. Her cookies, pies, and other pastries were beloved by both locals and day trippers to the Hamptons. As her business grew, King’s parents pushed her to buy her own ingredients and rent her own kitchen. King only operated during the summer months so she could focus on her education, but by the time she began college and planning her future, her cookies’ success pointed towards a life-long career as a baker.
King was met with a choice, to explore the world and see what opportunities were open to her, or commit to her talent. So, King would not find herself traveling as a chef on a cruise ship as she once envisioned in college, but driving into New York City to give local shops samples of her cookies.
At just 23 years old, King went full-time with “Kathleen’s Cookies”, renting a bakery and operating all year around. To cover the mortgage on the bakery, King had to double profits, even in the off-season. By working 16-hour days, and hiring other staff and delivery drivers, King was able to slowly step back from Kathleen’s Cookies over the course of the next 20 years while the business flourished.
As King wanted to further exit from Kathleen’s, she sold two-thirds of her company to two businessmen. Those two men started a Kathleen’s Bake Shop factory to develop a retail product, but the pastries were far inferior to the original bake shop’s. King recalls that, while sampling the retail pastries, a pie from the Kathleen’s factory still had a whole apple in it.
Grossly dissatisfied with the factory’s product, but without a majority stake in the company that bore her own name, King was fired from Kathleen’s Bake Shop and left with $200,000 in debt.
Having hit rock bottom, but not defeated, King saw only one way out of the hole she was stuck in: baking. With Kathleen’s still on the market, King opened Tate’s Bake Shop. Some of King’s previous vendors welcomed Tate’s with open arms, others treated her like a newcomer. In spite of this, Tate’s Bake Shop would quickly grow to 40 employees.
This time, King built her business with a firm exit strategy. She hired consultants and would eventually sell Tate’s Bake Shop for $100 million. Now, Tate’s is a household name, having widely proliferated throughout the country following its purchase by Mondelez International Inc, the makers of Oreos and Ritz, for $500 million.
Today, Kathleen King is enjoying her free time by biking and hiking. However, she is not retired. King still invests in other small businesses that share the same call from Destiny that she once had. Furthermore, organizations hire Kathleen King to deliver keynote speeches on business ownership and proper work-life balance.
Find out how to hire Kathleen King to appear at your next event. Contact the Mollie Plotkin Group to inquire about Kathleen King’s availability and cost. When booking Kathleen King for an event, we need to know the type of venue and location the event will take place. Kathleen King is a popular choice for corporate events, private events, and virtual events. So, you can click the Check Availability button or contact us and an MPG Kathleen King booking agent will get back to you within 48 hours.
How much to book Kathleen King depends on the type of event. So, the cost to hire Kathleen King for corporate or private events is available by contacting a Mollie Plotkin Group Agent. Notably, Kathleen King is available for conferences, festivals, private parties and events. Just contact the Mollie Plotkin Group and tell the booking agent the proposed date, time, and location.
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