Business

A recipe for success

Tracy Dueck (right) runs TracyCakes Bakery Cafe in Fort Langley with her daughters Jessica Dueck (left) and Melissa Suominen. The family also operates two other locations in Abbotsford and White Rock. - Gary Ahuja/Langley Times
Tracy Dueck (right) runs TracyCakes Bakery Cafe in Fort Langley with her daughters Jessica Dueck (left) and Melissa Suominen. The family also operates two other locations in Abbotsford and White Rock.
— image credit: Gary Ahuja/Langley Times

While some people may have reservations working with family on a day-to-day basis, Tracy Dueck cannot imagine not having her two daughters working alongside her.

“They understand your passion and your dreams and your desire to grow the business,” she explained.

“They know you and intrinsically know how you think and they know what you are going to say probably even before you say it.

“They know how to run your business because they know you so well.”

The 47-year-old Dueck is the chief executive officer of TracyCakes Bakery, which has three locations: Fort Langley, Abbotsford and White Rock.

A stay-at-home mom to her three kids — son Dan and daughters Melissa and Jessica — Dueck opened the first TracyCakes location in Fort Langley in 2006.

She was inspired to re-invent herself by her grandmother, who at age 40 went back to school to become a nurse.

Back then, it was very rare to go back to school at that age for a career change.

But Dueck had always loved baking and hosting others, so TracyCakes was a natural fit.

It provided a place for people to connect over lunch, high tea or a sweet treat.

Both daughters have worked alongside their mother from the beginning, while Dan, 27, is an aspiring food truck vendor.

Neither daughter has any reservations of working with family.

“I love it,” said Jessica Dueck.

“We have a really good thing going on.”

The 20-year-old started when she was still in school, working evenings and weekends.

She now manages the Fort Langley location.

Older sister Melissa Suominen, 25, works as the company’s chief operations officer.

“We all get along really well,” she said.

The key is establishing boundaries, separating work from family.

“We try not to talk about work or else we would talk about it all the time,” she said.

That is advice Tracy Dueck agrees with.

“Sometimes you need to have fun with the family and not talk about what just happened last week,” she said.

photo courtesy of Ashley Martens Photography

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