Sitting down with James (Jim) McMillan, owner
How did your business begin?
As a young 27 year old in 1977, I officially began my career as proprietor and head baker for what is now a household word in Columbia. Tiffany’s Bakery was a franchise based out of Toronto. And, no, my wife, daughter, nor even an old girlfriend is named Tiffany! This business venture developed into my true passion for baking, and here we are just celebrating our 40th year in business as of Sept. 28.
What is your business’s biggest challenge?
The industry is ever changing, and we have to change with it. Probably one of the biggest challenges today, thanks to the internet and Pinterest, is staying current to industry requests. Our skills are tested daily, but it’s been fun. We have requests for off-the-wall decorated cakes, weird pastries, and even crazy sandwiches.
What do you like best about your line of work?
From our humble beginnings in Columbia Mall, 1,100 square feet, to our current location at 8502 Two Notch Road with 3,800 square feet, it has been an honor to serve the Columbia community. We have met and worked with many wonderful people, made many friends, and supported many causes. We have seen many trends come and go, but one trend stands true: we love our fresh baked goods. Perhaps our proudest moments are when people tell us how excited they are when that white box with the red label and red ribbon, full of petits fours or other pastries, walks through the front door. This makes us proud, and we are looking forward to the next 40 years.
What are your goals for this year?
Our new location, further down Two Notch, will double our size. We will have 50 percent more product showcases and 35 percent more seating. There are going to be lots of new products and a few surprises. You will be able to follow our progress on Facebook, so stay tuned! ETA, early 2018.