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Meet Chanda Taylor of Outside The Box in Fort Worth

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chanda Taylor.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Chanda. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Outside The box was initially established to provide birthday snack gift boxes, and college care packages to incoming Freshmen… hence the name “Outside The Box”, but apparently GOD had other plans!
I’ve always enjoyed baking and creating delicious treats for friends and family through the years, and I knew that I had a special gift when it came to baking, however, the thought of becoming an entrepreneur and actually establishing my own business seemed so far fetched.
My Grandfather, who was a multi-business owner, and very well known in my hometown of Moss Point, Mississippi, always encouraged the grandchildren in the family to follow in his footsteps, and become business owners. Little did I know, that dream would actually become reality for me in spite of all the hardships, setbacks, and disappointments that I’ve experienced along the way.
My journey began nearly 20 years ago with my children and last minute reminders that it was their turn to bring snacks for school snack day, along with potlucks for work that led me to try my hand at baking. Occasional Popcorn treats, a Pecan pie or Sweet Potato pie, 7 Up Pound Cake, or a Banana Pudding would be the start of it all. I was constantly asked to bring desserts for every occasion, and was eventually encouraged by a really good friend to go into business for myself. I laughed at the idea of course, but after much encouragement and support of my daughters, and family also, I decided to step out on Faith and give it a try.
Through word of mouth advertising, Instagram, and Facebook, busines has really picked up and continues to grow. Our website is currently under construction, but should be live by the end of January.
I’m so Grateful and Thankful for all of the love and support that Outside The Box has received since our official launch in January of 2019, and look forward to what 2020 will bring forth, and beyond.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
This journey has definitely had its challenges from financial struggles, failed recipes, lack of supplies and equipment, and several sleepless nights, but I’ve come to realize that without setbacks, there’s often no rewards, and without tests, there’s often no testimonies.
There’s been countless times that I’ve baked cakes that didn’t rise, cookies that were overbaked, and cupcakes with the muffin top everywhere but on top, and it was during those times that I really thought of giving up and throwing in the towel. I’ve shed countless tears, and questioned why I was even putting forth the effort. That’s when I began to realize that every time I failed at something, I was actually Winning. Those obstacles that I faced allowed me to learn from my mistakes, correct and enhance my skills, and perfect my craft in order to produce perfect delicious products consistently. With every setback, I gained much needed strength and tenacity to continue pushing forward. All I could say was “Thank You”. Thank you for another lesson, and another opportunity to get this right!
Please tell us about Outside The Box.
Outside The Box is a local home-based business specializing in baked goods such as Birthday cakes, Wedding cakes, Specialty cakes, Cupcakes in assorted flavors, Cookies, Banana Pudding jars, and Chocolate dipped treats.
One of our biggest sellers, and most requested dessert, besides our 7 Up Pound cake drizzled with our special gourmet Lemon glaze, is our Coconut Caramel “Heaven” cookie. They’ve been referred to as “Heaven” cookies because some say they taste like Heaven in your mouth, others refer to them as Almond Joy cookies. Whatever you prefer to call them, they’re sure to be a crowd pleaser, and to disappear very quickly!
One thing that I’m most proud of as a business owner is our commitment to serve and give back to our community. For every purchase made, OTB will donate 10% of the proceeds to charity. Whether it be games and items to benefit battered women and children, helping to serve meals to the homeless in our community, or donating much-needed clothing items, every purchase made will count towards making a difference.
I also feel that what sets our business apart from others in this industry is the authenticity of our products. Our products are made from family recipes passed down from generations dating back nearly 100 years, to flavors exclusive to OTB. There’s no preservatives or fillers in our products yielding a homemade flavor experience not found in most products today.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Yes. One of my fondest childhood memories was spending time with my grandmother in the kitchen during the holidays as she prepared, and baked cakes for the season. My grandmother, referred to as MuDear, would always make her famous Rum cakes and Fruit cakes for Christmas, as some of the grandkids would gather to help her with the baking. What was most memorable was our way of convincing her that there was Never enough Rum in the Rum cakes, so that she would continue adding Rum, and we could continue sampling and giving feedback with each addition. That was our way of receiving a little Christmas Cheer early. Sorry MuDear (laughing out loud) … God rest her sweet soul!

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