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Harlem Baking Company (HBC), founded by Charles Devigne, a military veteran, is a dessert brand that produces confections served in jars such as cheesecake in a variety of flavors, chocolate mousse, tiramisu, key lime pie and more. The company is located in the East Harlem community where Charles also has a successful restaurant. When the coronavirus outbreak happened, it paused social and dining activities. Charles decided to expand into producing a line of dessert products. He reached out to the Pace SBDC for assistance and was connected with business advisors Rawle Brown and Susan Gluck.

Rawle showed Charles how to use the Business Model Canvas found in Entreskills (a free online business education platform) and reviewed how to put together a business plan. They also discussed where to access financing, legal advice through clinics with the Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project also known as NELP, and food licenses. Susan advised Charles on marketing, social media, market research and public relations for the brand. She also organized a meeting with Professor Mary Long, a faculty member of Pace’s Lubin School of Business. Soon after, Professor Long engaged the 27 students enrolled in her Spring 2022 Advanced Marketing Management class to undertake a project focused on solving the challenges of growth and positioning facing the Harlem Baking Company, as a case study.

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The project was successful as students researched solutions and presented their analysis on HBC. 

In Professor Long’s words “the students applied all of their marketing skills to tackle the myriad challenges of growth for Harlem Baking Company who is operating in a highly competitive dessert market. Students conducted research and provided HBC with solid recommendations and financial implications for positioning, promotion, and distribution.” As icing on the cake, students received HBC cake jars from Charles to wrap up the exercise.


If your company has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, schedule a no-cost meeting with a Pace SBDC business advisor to discuss pandemic recovery tactics.

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