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Meet Sianni Dean of Cranky Granny’s Sweet Rolls in Lindenwold and Austin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sianni Dean.

Sianni, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve always had an Entrepreneurial drive in me ever since I was young. As young as before pre-k, I would find things around the house to do for a couple of dollars. Once I finally got into preschool and kindergarten, I would start selling little bracelets I would make at home from the kits my mom would buy for me. My mom worked at a doctor’s office and had a lot of unused pages and I would sell them at school to the kids for $3 because they looked like mini cell phones. Once I start getting into elementary school, my parents would both take me to the store so I could buy cans from the dollar store or sams club and go back to school and flip it. I learned about supply and demand from my dad and interest from my mom. I would buy a dollar bag of jolly ranchers from the dollar store and sell them to the kids at school for 25 cents each. Profiting about $2/$ three off each bag. My dad taught me that if I supply it, I can demand whatever price I want but be reasonable.

My older sisters would borrow money from me when I was younger and if they borrowed $10, I needed to be getting $5 back for it being inconvenient for me not having my $10 for a short period of time. I was really good with money as a child from these lessons and was a saving baby guru! Through elementary, middle and some of the high school, I would sell candy, juice, chips, etc… halfway through high school, I had a bad heartbreak at 16 years old. I was sitting in my Kitchen, twirling around in my chair in a funk. Then I started thinking like “instead of me sitting in my own negative funk, I can use this negative energy and turn it positive and make some money.” I started selling food platters that very weekend from my mom’s house. From high school, I went to sometimes too even though I wasn’t supposed to be doing that. But I think the staff understands that’s where my heart was because I used to skip a lot of my classes and lunch just to be in my favorite Chef’s class playing in the kitchen whipping something up (Chef Margaret Harvey, Willingboro High School).

While in my sophomore year, am an entrepreneur club/class got introduced to the school. It was run by an entrepreneur who graduated from the school 20 years prior who wanted to give back by teaching inspiring young entrepreneurs. There was a catch. He made it into a competition and said that whoever won in the class would win $100,000 for their business and help from his marketing firm to market their business. The requirements to win was to pass the test, show up on time, be dedicated to his two-hour class 30 minutes after getting out of regular school for 30 days. I participated in the class for three years and didn’t win not one of the times. Every time I lost, I would be mad initially. I don’t take L’s though, only lessons. So shortly, I would just think, “Maybe I’m not ready, I could have done more, this is for my own good so I can get my shit together.” My thought process every time. The last time I just thought, though, “Fuck this I’m going to succeed with or without his help, I got Sianni!”.

Though I didn’t win not once out of the three years, that’s where the birth of Cranky Granny’s Sweet Rolls happened. I kept giving ideas to another young lady in the class that would be good for her to do until the teacher pointed out to me that I should do one of the ideas. I said for her to do mini cinnamon rolls because she was focused on doing mini desserts. Then we watched a video of someone creating a Cinnabon flavored liquor and my first initial thought was “ooohhh ima make a flavored liquor.” Mind you. I was 15 !! So that was not going to work and I wasn’t waiting until I was 21. Eventually, I settled on doing sweet rolls. I told my chef my plan and since that day, she had me making cinnamon roll repeatedly! Before telling her, I tried at home first… They were absolutely horrible !!! Like hard, nasty! I gave one to my granny to try and she said it was good but she said that about a dinner I made when I first start trying to cook too. She said the broccoli was her favorite on the plate… it’s broccoli from the microwave people !! She didn’t want to hurt my feelings but I knew the truth. So I kept trying in and out of school. Messing up my mother’s kitchen and having her furious.

Eventually, I start getting it down the pack and introduced them slowly will my food platters selling them for about $2.00 my senior year. They were bad in the beginning but I was determined to make it work because I didn’t have a plan b. This was my only plan and it has to work. A plan b is really your plan A because you feel like your first option won’t work so you know what you’ll fall back on comfortably. During my senior year, I started using my platter money to pay for my trademark on my name, paid a graphic designer to do my logo, domain name and doing the legal steps to secure my business. While in the entrepreneur class, he had us do market research on our businesses and the field, so I completed three years of market research before I jumped into it. After graduating high school in July, I officially started Cranky Granny’s Sweet Rolls a month later in August at 18 years old. I changed my food page into a sweet roll page on Instagram and went from there. Cranky Granny’s Sweet Rolls is a sweet roll company that offers a variety of different flavors to place on top of your sweet rolls while reminiscing and enjoying times with friends and family.

At one point, I was in high school, Entrepreneur class, going to work and trying to start a business and today, I am a full-time business owner. In November of 2019, I purchased my first truck to turn it into a Sweet Roll Truck at 20 years old. The truck isn’t up and running yet but it will be especially when the pandemic is over.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been a smooth road. Just think about it being 15-18 years old and being told, “You aren’t ready/good enough” year after year. Most people would get discouraged. Which I would be for a second but anything negative is like fuel to me oddly. It makes me go harder and show you that I got Sianni. There has been canceled events after baking hundreds of product and no notice. I’ve forgotten things for events. But my mom, dad, sisters, nieces and my few friends have always been there to help me! I’m the only one who puts money in the business relationship through which would be very difficult when money starts to run low. It’s not like I was ever established in a career and had thousands of dollars saved up to invest. I started from $50 dollars and drove to succeed. Until this day, if I have to I’ll put my very last dollar into this business, which I have.

Please tell us about Cranky Granny’s Sweet Rolls.
Cranky Granny’s Sweet Rolls is a sweet roll company that provides happiness and smiles from every bite while reminiscing on sweet times with granny and creating new ones with family and friends. We have flavors from classic to banana pudding, caramel apple, strawberry, mocha and the list keeps ongoing. Everything is made from scratch from the dough, glaze and toppings. We are most proud of our dedication to having nothing but a smile on your face. We want to warm your day up and actually care about that more than the money. Even if it’s outside of the sweet rolls. We love to give back and speak at schools to inspires.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have tracked all of my books, keeping the correct way honestly. I’m fine now but I know I would have been much better at what I do if my books were in order earlier on.

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Image Credit:

Trendal Worldwide
Ashleigh Haymen

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