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Baklava bakery owner trades master’s program for growing her business

Andie Corban Nov 22, 2022
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Rita Magalde, center, with her employees Desi Hayda, left, and Hayda's mother, Helene Simpson, right. Courtesy Rita Magalde

Baklava bakery owner trades master’s program for growing her business

Andie Corban Nov 22, 2022
Heard on:
Rita Magalde, center, with her employees Desi Hayda, left, and Hayda's mother, Helene Simpson, right. Courtesy Rita Magalde
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Over the summer, Rita Magalde, owner of the Draper, Utah-based baklava bakery Sheer Ambrosia, was looking forward to starting the Master of Business Creation program at the University of Utah. A few weeks into the fall program, she realized the workload combined with running her business, which often requires more than 40 hours of work a week, was too much.

“I was a little embarrassed that I had to quit,” Magalde said. “But I don’t think of it as quitting. It was a strategic decision for my business and my overall well-being and health.”

Magalde is at the start of her busy season, as baklava orders soar around the holidays. In November and December, she estimates she does more business than in the next six months combined. For the past two years, Magalde has had two women working seasonally to help her get through the holidays.

“This year, I said, ‘Let’s figure out how we can continue this throughout the year, not just the holidays,'” she said. “I’ve never brought anyone in to help me with the business, and the only way I’m going to grow is by having people helping me.”

Magalde credits the MBC program and the support she gained from her peers and professors with giving her new energy when it comes to running Sheer Ambrosia.

“It really just instilled in me that I’ve got something here,” she said. “I’m going to turn this business into a multimillion-dollar business, you mark my words. I have people that want to help me make that dream happen. I don’t feel alone anymore, and that’s huge.”

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