I first tried Zoey Aldahash's delectable baklava one afternoon at the Winter Maker’s Market. With her inviting smile, she encouraged me to try one of her samples.
As I bit into the piece, I felt the pleasant combination of crunchy layers on the outside followed by soft, sweet layers on the inside. As someone who loves sweets (and let’s be honest – who doesn’t?), I was immediately convinced to buy a batch.
I’m not unlike many other Casper residents who have flocked to Sweet Zoey’s for her tasty and unique treats. Zoey has been selling baklavain Casper for just five months, but already she hasformed a dedicated following who keep her working full-time – including individual buyers, the downtown Sandwich Bar, Grab-n-Go, The Cottage, and Hat SixTravel Plaza’s incoming cafe. Zoey also sells at arange of events around the Casper community, many of which she leaves having sold all the baklava she arrived with.
She differs from many other small-scale, local business owners in that she has access to a commercial kitchen and is able to sell to restaurants and other businesses around town. She is a perfect example of what’s possible for other small entrepreneurs with the help of the Good Food Hub.
Like many local, small-scale entrepreneurs,Zoey began her journey in her own kitchen. Raised in the Middle East, she is very familiar with one of the region’s staple desserts: baklava. It’s a rich, sweetdessert pastry made with layers of filo, filled with nuts,and held together with syrup or honey. After moving to Casper she realized the community was missing this wildly popular treat, then began baking and selling it at events around the community.
She quickly realized that Casper loves to try new things and support local trades. In just four months she gained nearly 700 Facebook followersand 150 recommendations, all of which are fivestars. She also realized that sharing baklava with the community connected her to other Casper residents who are originally from Middle Eastern countries.
Zoey also sells homemade hummus, which also goes quickly at the winter and farmers’ markets. She hopes to eventually take her business to the next level – whether that means hiring help or buying her own storefront in Casper – but in the meantime she looks with excitement toward the future of The GoodFood Hub. There, Zoey will utilize the commercialkitchen, sell her products in the marketplace, and also rent her own market stall, all of which will help propel her toward that next step.