GGC and Harvard graduate finds sweet success in Suwanee
Entrepreneur uses life and leadership skills gained at GGC to pursue passion for baking
When Suwanee resident Andrea Ide received her master’s in education from Harvard University in 2009, it never occurred to her that she would devote her career to cupcakes. A lover of baking since childhood, Ide moved back to metro Atlanta from Boston with plans to put her Georgia Gwinnett College bachelor’s degree in psychology and Harvard master’s degree to use by teaching psychology to high school or college students.
But a couple of years later plans changed when a friend jokingly suggested that they should open a bakery since Ide’s cupcakes were better than those they kept buying other places.
“I laughed at first, but we eventually got serious about the idea, and Crazy Cakes was born,” Ide said. “I think I surprised everyone, including myself, but I don't want to look back and wonder about things that could have happened.”
A charter student at GGC, Ide was one of the college’s first 118 students when it opened its doors in 2006. Because she already had an associate’s degree in psychology, she finished her bachelor’s degree in only two years, graduating from GGC in 2008. As she approached graduation, one of her GGC professors knew she wanted to teach and recommended that she look into the program at Harvard. She heeded the advice and credits the GGC faculty and staff with helping her to get accepted.
Even though she chose not to pursue psychology after years of study, the things she learned about life, herself, and the world while at college have come into play every day.
“Before moving to Boston to attend Harvard, I would never have dreamed of moving somewhere on my own,” Ide said. “Going to GGC and helping to found the student government and some of the clubs made me realize that I can work hard, and that I love seeing results come from that hard work.”
She cites experiences such as classroom debates and group projects with helping her learn that when you believe in something, you can be strong in your beliefs without offending or disrespecting others and that it’s okay to disagree on occasion.
Ide’s shop is located at 145 Satellite Boulevard NE, Suite F, in Suwanee. Through innovative flavors like “South Beach Guava” (vanilla cupcake, guava center, cream cheese frosting) and stellar, personal service, she and her partner have kept cupcake fans coming back for more. Crazy Cakes is in the process of expansion, with a cake supply store soon to open next door. The company also has a Web site at www.crazycakesatl.com.
“We’re open seven days a week, so there are many weeks when I don't even get a day off,” Ide said. “It’s exhausting, but I remind myself that every ounce of energy I put in is for myself and my future, and that makes it a lot easier to do!”
In the midst of her busy career, Ide still finds time for reading and playing weekly trivia while enjoying a cupcake or two, herself.
“My all-time favorite flavor is ‘Crazy Cake,’ an old family recipe that my mom used to make every year for my birthday,” she said.
Georgia Gwinnett College is a four-year, accredited liberal arts college that provides access to targeted baccalaureate level degrees that meet the economic development needs of the growing and diverse population of Gwinnett County and the northeast Atlanta metropolitan region. GGC opened its doors in August 2006 as the nation’s first four-year public college founded in the 21st century, and the first four-year public college founded in Georgia in more than 100 years. Georgia Gwinnett produces contributing citizens and future leaders for Georgia and the nation. Its graduates are inspired to contribute to their local, state, national and international communities and are prepared to anticipate and respond effectively to an uncertain and changing world. Visit Georgia Gwinnett College’s Web site at www.ggc.edu.