Bowerbird Bakeshop Entrepreneur Profile

November 5, 2018

Earl Vallery is a recent CIC graduate and the owner of Bowerbird Bakeshop, a bakery specializing in French patisserie. Originally hailing from New Orleans, Earl became interested in French baking after attending the Texas Culinary Institute in Austin, Texas, where he learned how to bake everything from bread to creme brulee. After gaining 13 years of experience teaching and managing bakeries and, most recently, helping to open the successful Whisk bakery in Richmond, Earl moved to Charlottesville and set out to “create and curate a collection of fine handmade pastries that are interesting to the foodie, yet accessible to everyone.”

Through CIC’s Entrepreneur Workshop, Earl explains he learned the language of business, a newfound knowledge that he was especially thankful for after winning a grant through The City of Charlottesville’s Office of Economic Development. He also claims he greatly appreciates CIC’s group approach to working through problems. As for his most invaluable resource, Earl says that learning under Philippe Sommer was essential to his understanding of the many working parts necessary to running a business.

In five years, Earl hopes to operate Bowerbird Bakeshop out of a food truck and possibly a brick and mortar location. His immediate focus is currently breaking into the wedding industry and partner with other local small businesses.

As for his advice to other entrepreneurs, Earl urges others to “Remember that [they’re] not an island. Don’t try to do everything. Try to cultivate a community; delegate and let go.”