Kevin Johnson of Over The Top Cake Supplies
About Kevin Johnson, CEO & Founder
Kevin Johnson founded Johnson Bros. Bakery Supply, Inc. in 1994 with his brother Blain, and acquired sole ownership of the company in 2012. As head of the largest Texas-based supplier of bakery products, Kevin takes his greatest satisfaction not in JBBS’ market successes but rather in its work to improve lives through cooperative outreach with organizations such as Project Angel Fares, Susan G. Komen, the Walker Belden Foundation and HeartGift. In 2013 Kevin created a new division of JBBS and thus Over The Top Cake Supplies was born. The first retail store opened in San Antonio, Texas and began providing local residents with professional cake supplies, instructional/decorating classes and parties. Kevin began franchising this exciting new concept in 2015 and currently has 5 franchised units.
1. Tell us about the Over The Top Cake Supplies concept.
We are your one stop cake, candy and baking supplies provider for the professional bakers, cake decorators to the novice consumer just wanting to learn the art of baking and cake decorating. We also provide a classroom venue where we provide a variety of instructional classes from beginner to professional levels. Our event room is also utilized for kid’s parties and other celebrations.
2. How and when did you become involved with Over The Top Cake Supplies?
Having been in the baking distribution business for almost 40 years, and owning Johnson Bros. Baking Supply since 1991, the cake supply stores have been a good part of our business. With no concept streamlined that could be franchised on a national level we decided to open our first company retail store in the fall of 2013.
3. What was your background prior to joining Over The Top Cake Supplies?
I have been in the bakery distribution for 38 years, 14 years for a family owned company and 24 years at Johnson Bros. Bakery Supply.
4. What are some of the advantages in being a Over The Top Cake Supplies franchisee?
Of course, the freedom to be an entrepreneur and franchisee is a dream for many people. Based on our product line and classroom venue we have a multitude of profit centers and with our whimsical store prototype visitors have a smile on their face from the moment they step into an Over The Top Cake Supplies store.
5. Who is your ideal franchisee?
I love this question simply because it’s in my industry and it allows me to show my passion about what we are about. The ideal franchisee is that person or persons who loves the art of baking and the passion of decorating cakes, cupcakes & cookies; whether they are professional or working in the cottage baking world.
6. Tell us a little about the Baking Supplies Market?
As I mentioned earlier, we have been servicing this industry for many years and for many reasons the demand for this concept is at an all-time high. I have no reason to believe there could be any decline any time soon. With the explosion of the Food Networks and Food Channels blowing up airways and the movement to more family friendly activities, I am certain our concept will continue to thrive for many years to come.
7. What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?
Product mix, what sells & what doesn’t; maximizing the uses of the classroom venue, making staff understand the profitability of the room and importance of the added profit centers provided.
8. Do you have a mentor and is their someone you use for inspiration?
I have had many mentors in the baking and distribution over the years. Obviously, my parents were my most important mentors as they taught me everything I know about the art of baking growing up in the bakeries they owned and operated. I am very new in the franchising industry so my obvious mentor is Paul Segreto, CEO at Franchise Foundry, our franchise development partner. He has taught me a tremendous amount of the ins and outs of the franchising world. I truly could not be where I am without him.
9. What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
Take in all the information, study all that it will take to be successful. Be passionate and love what you do; and if you commit yourself to that you will absolutely love our concept.
10. In your opinion, why do you think that Over The Top Cake Supplies would be a great opportunity for someone?
Besides my responses to the last questions, you literally can run our franchise with 1 to 3 people which allows you to realize almost instant profitability at a very minimal investment.
Joe DePinto of 7-Eleven
Joe DePinto is president and CEO of 7-Eleven, Inc., the premier company in convenience retailing. Globally, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 61,000 7 Eleven stores, including more than 10,900 stores in North America.