Ditching a tech job for the fun of flour

| Print |  Email
Monday, October 01, 2007

DeEttaVincent.jpg

AFTER 27 YEARS setting up databases for litigators in major law firms around the country and sending a son through college, DeEtta Vincent decided to move back to southern Oregon to be close to her mother. This tech guru chose to move to Plush of all places, a town in Lake County so remote that high-speed Internet access is hard to come by.

“I decided to change the focus of my life,” says Vincent, who made the move in 1999. For five years she worked as the county’s finance manager, but working for the local government was too similar to her previous jobs in law, and Vincent wanted something different.

Vincent enjoys baking and in 2004 began selling bread at the Lakeview Saturday market. She found the community receptive to her products and discovered that she enjoyed baking enough to create a business around it.

“Of course, once you start you have to get serious about it,” Vincent says. Get serious she did that year, taking orders and making deliveries all over the county during the winter and setting up a stall at the market during the summer. In 2006, Lakeview Lockers, a boutique grocery store in Lakeview, opened and became a regular customer.

Also in 2006 a new client opened up a coffee house. This prompted Vincent to look into expanding beyond bread into Tuscan-style biscotti. Unlike bread, biscotti has a long shelf life, making it good for distance marketing, an attractive attribute given Vincent’s rural location.

In August 2006 Vincent took her biscotti to Lake County Development’s American Food Fight, a competition that identifies regional products that could succeed in broader markets. She won. Her prize was a trip to Portland to the Food Innovation Center, where she learned about branding, labeling and packaging her biscotti for sale in boutique grocery stores around the state.

While Vincent says she is not anticipating becoming Oregon’s Mrs. Fields, her success at the Food Fight gave her the confidence to work toward selling her biscotti in small, regional markets and possibly drive-through coffee shops like Dutch Bros.

And yes, even with all this work to expand her market, Vincent still finds time to hand-deliver biscotti to her most loyal supporter: her mom.                               

COLLEEN MORAN


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Is there life beyond Reed?

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY GARY THILL | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A storied institution climbs down from the ivory tower.


Read more...

Business partnerships: taming the three-headed monster

Contributed Blogs
Monday, July 06, 2015
070615-businessmarriagefail-thumbBY KATHERINE HEEKIN | OB GUEST COLUMNIST

Picking a business partner is not much different than choosing a spouse or life partner, and the business break-up can be as heart-wrenching and costly as divorce.


Read more...

Storyteller in Chief: Power Player

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY LINDA WESTON

In 1996, after a 17-year career in the destination marketing industry, where I gained national standing as the CEO of the Convention & Visitors Association of Lane County, I was recruited by the founders of a new professional basketball league for women. The American Basketball League (ABL) hoped to leverage the success of the 1996 USA women’s national team at the Atlanta Olympics — much like USA Soccer is now leveraging the U.S. Women’s National Team’s victory in the World Cup. The ABL wanted a team in Portland, and they wanted me to be its general manager.


Read more...

Portland’s long-distance bike commuters

The Latest
Monday, August 03, 2015
Matt KellyresizethumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

Pushing the extreme.


Read more...

Best Foot Forward

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE

Whether you're stepping out to work or onto the track, Pacific Northwest shoe companies have you covered.


Read more...

Photo log: Murray's Pharmacy

The Latest
Friday, July 17, 2015
OBM-Heppner-Kaplan thumbBY JASON KAPLAN

Photographer Jason Kaplan takes a look at Murray's Pharmacy in Heppner.  The family owned business is run by John and Ann Murray, who were featured in our July/August cover story: 10 Innovators in Rural Health Care.


Read more...

Quake as metaphor

Linda Baker
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
071515-earthquakia-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

The Big One serves as an allegory for Portland, a city that earns plaudits for lifestyle and amenities but whose infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS