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Sweet Auburn Bread Company

Chef Sonya Jones always dreamed of running her own business. Growing up, she worked in her family’s neighborhood cafe, which fueled her desire to become an entrepreneur. She wanted to run her own restaurant, so she attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York City.

Today, Chef Sonya is the owner of Sweet Auburn Bread Company, which is one of the most well-known Southern bakeries in Atlanta. Her customers have even included former President Bill Clinton and Food Network Star Rachael Ray.

Chef Sonya first heard about the U.S. Small Business Administration while conducting research on how to start her business. During the initial planning stage of Sweet Auburn Bread Company, she sought assistance from a SCORE Mentors office in Atlanta who helped her with the counseling she need to launch her bakery in 1997. Over the years of running her business, she continued to reach out the SBA Georgia District Office and other resource partners for assistance.

In 2008, Chef Sonya graduated from the SBA Georgia District Office’s inaugural SBA Emerging Leaders class, which was called the Emerging 200 or “e200.” The class consisted of intensive training geared to accelerate high-potential small businesses’ growth in inner cities. She utilized the skills acquired from this program to reassess the growth potential of Sweet Auburn Bread Company and to develop a strategic plan to achieve it. “I gained the understanding that growth from creating a sense of community to investing in a digital presence along with networking and market expansion could help my business for years to come.”

During the pandemic, Chef Sonya received COVID-19 assistance that helped her company continue to thrive and keep her employees paid. When asked what advice she would give other entrepreneurs she said, “I would strongly advise them to utilize their local SBA small business services. It’s never too early or too late to seek advice from their experienced consultants.”