BALTIMORE — The new year came with a raise for folks across the state of Maryland working for minimum wage.
While it's good for employees, it’s putting a strain on owners of small businesses.
Teresa Thomas is living her dream alongside her husband Eric after opening the Confetti Cake Bar off York Road.
"I was like I'm gonna open me a bakery and I didn't think it would happen so fast,” Thomas told WMAR-2 News.
Since launching in September they’ve grown quite a demand from the community.
"About 3:30, 4 o'clock when people start getting off, kids start getting out of school there’s a rush. Uber Eats, GrubHub, DoorDash, its a rush,” Thomas shared.
The late afternoon rush poses a challenge: paying and growing a staff to meet that growing demand creates a unique challenge of it’s own.
“It’s family-owned and we still have outside employees and the minimum wage I would say is…I wouldn’t say it’s hard to meet but it’s a lot,” said Thomas.
It’s a lot for Thomas because of the raise in minimum wage.
She’s now required to pay workers at least $12.20 per hour instead of $11.60 required in 2021 which places a strain on funds on top of the inflated costs of daily supplies sky rocketing in recent months.
“I just went to buy a case of butter and a case of butter is like $105 a case and it was just 67 dollars,” Thomas recalled.
As a newer business in the community Thomas wants to avoid raising her prices.
“Then you have minimum wage and minimum wage is going up and its kind of like you have to work even harder to not even meet the demand for what you’re selling but to meet minimum wage and its like its not a balance,” she said.
This raise is part of series over the next few years.
Minimum wage right now is at $12.50. The following year, it’ll be $13.25 and then in 2024 the minimum wage will increase to 14 dollars; but for business the size of Confetti Cake Bar it will rise about 40 cents each year.
“I'll come in at 8, and sometimes I don’t leave until 10 the next morning because I cant afford to pay someone to come in and continuously bake, continuously make icing. It's just I cant afford that,” said Thomas.
“It should be something that can protect us to. It should be something for us to be able to even meet that like maybe some sort of fund or something,” she added.
Luckily for Thomas, that protection she desires comes in the form of a recipe.
“I have a recipe. If it's not a cupcake recipe, it may be a cake recipe. If its not a cake recipe it may be a cookie recipe...that's how I'm gonna fight it. Everyone has a sweet tooth,” Thomas said.
To support the Confetti Cake Bar going into the new year visit https://www.theconfetticakebar.com.