As the creator and owner of Bella’s Home-Baked Goods, Deanna Bellacicco Breault is proof that a passion, when combined with drive and a great product, can become your calling. In 2002, after a 10-year career in retail and nonprofit management, Breault decided to combine her love of baking with her practiced administration skills to go into business selling baked goods. As more people discovered her delicious desserts, what started as a small, home-based operation baking and selling four varieties of authentic Italian biscotti quickly grew into a commercial bakery in Highland, offering a line of 12 biscotti flavors, as well as brownies, cookies, toffee, gluten-free desserts, and more.
Her treats are currently sold by 350 retailers and online through www.bellashbg.com. Beyond being a skilled baker and smart entrepreneur, the Highland born-and-raised Breault prioritizes giving back by volunteering in her community and kids’ schools, mentoring other women interested in starting their own baking business, and providing presentations to students at her alma maters, Our Lady of Lourdes High School and Marist College.
What were your goals when starting your business, and what milestones made you feel successful?
My original goal was to work close to home while raising my children. Some of the milestones I felt that made me feel successful were when I could go to their school/sporting events during the day while still working; having to expand my commercial kitchen very quickly in the beginning; when I was recognized by various publications; and when I would get repeat business, year after year.
Also, when my daughter called me from college to tell me that dining services wanted her to do a photo shoot with my products, at the café on campus.
How do you balance work and family?
It is very difficult. I’d like to say it got easier with time, but unfortunately it doesn’t. I think for me, my focus was always family first, so that drove me to balance the two. My work, in the early days of creating Bella’s, would consume me if I let it, but my love for my family was greater.
I have a great passion for both. It was and will always be the greatest balancing act.