Nora Schultz believes cupcakes can change the world because she’s seen the undeniable delight this dessert brings to others—especially children.
“Even if there’s no immediate, obvious financial change, you give (a child) a cupcake and the whole energy that comes from it is pure happiness,” Schultz said.
This Princeton resident is the mind behind Naturally Nora, a company that believes food should be made in a kitchen—not a laboratory.
With the help of her business partner and husband Steven, Nora sells all-natural scratch-in-the-box cakes.
Speaking of the upcoming She’s the First bake sales, she said, “You’re taking that (happiness) and attaching an actual financial component to it, which is more long-lasting. It’s just terrific. It’s a great combination.”
Nora is playing a major role in propelling the cause forward.
“We’re supporting the local bake sales—New Jersey and New York—with donations directly,” she explained. “I’d love to be able to send them to all the different sales, but what we’re going to do is pick one sale in particular and send enough mix to make 1,000 cupcakes. So it’s a lot of cake and frosting mix.”
The contest is going on now and for more details, click here! “I love the idea of what She’s the First is doing, particularly for girls education,” said Nora, who first learned about the organization after being contacted by its founder, Tammy Tibbetts. “I love the concept behind She’s the First in general. I think it’s broader than that. You need education to be the first in anything.”
When asked what she’s the first to do, Nora said, business-wise, Naturally Nora is the first company to make an all-natural confetti cake mix. Personal firsts she pondered a bit longer.
“I’m probably the first captain of the track team that didn’t run,” she said of her high school career at the University Liggett School in Michigan. “I did field events. I threw discus and I had state records.”
Another first? “I’m the first one in my family up every morning,” she said. “I’m out of the house and in the pool (US Masters swimming) or running by 5:45am.”
Nora says her daughters are her biggest source of inspiration. “It amazes me their optimism, their ability to just take on the world and never say no. It’s totally inspiring. It just gives me energy watching them.”
It is because of her children that she began Naturally Nora. The popularity of products like Funfetti cake mix in kindergarten classrooms resulted in discomfort with what she was actually baking.
“You read the labels. It’s a little frightening…Somebody had to come up with an all-natural alternative for moms and kids who are looking for something that was a little bit better and I decided to do it,” she recalled.
Nora is a big believer that a little reading can go a long way—food label reading, that is.
“As I’m thinking about the idea of education changing the world, I think if people are educated about their food, it would change the world. I think it would change our food choices dramatically and it would reshape things,” she said.
There are no concerns about what’s natural when eating Nora’s mixes. Her frosting flavors include Extraordinary Vanilla, Cheerful Chocolate, and A lot’a Dots. The cakes come in three types too: Sunny Yellow Cake, Cheerful Chocolate Cake, Alot’a Dots Cake.
What’s Nora’s personal favorite? “I love chocolate and chocolate frosting,” she said almost instantly. “It’s funny, I’ve had so much of my cakes and frostings, I kind of get tired of them—but not the chocolate frosting. I could just eat that forever.”
When asked what advice she’d give to girls who dream of starting their own businesses, she said: “I hate saying it, but do your homework before you do anything.”
She explained, “Before you really put yourself out there in terms of telling people what you’re doing and asking for favors, make sure you have all those facts in line so you know what you’re getting into. Setting expectations is really, really huge.” After some thought, Nora added extra advice.
“Ask,” she said. “I think that’s something a lot of girls don’t do necessarily. They’re a little hesitant to put themselves out there and go and ask for help…You’re never going to know until you ask. Whatever it is, turn to all the people you can for help because you’re going to need it.”