In 2004 Chef Ron’s Pastries started like many business: doing small orders here and there for family and friends. In 2015 brother and sister Ron and Rhonda Persons officially launched Chef Ron’s Pastries when an opportunity to work with the Golden State Warriors came to them. Since then, the business has been steadily growing, all while both Ron and Rhonda continue to work their full-time jobs.
Ron has a bachelors in culinary arts with a specialty in French patisserie. He has worked for UC Berkeley for 19 years in dining, catering, HR, and now on their leadership team. Rhonda has a degree in fashion design and business marketing, and she owned her own clothing line for a time. She now works in marketing for the United States Postal Service. Oakland natives, Ron and Rhonda have been entrepreneurs since before they were old enough to reach the stove. “When we were young our dad got sick, and we wanted to help our mom so we started a candy business,” remembers Rhonda. “We looked around at what candy was being sold for at the different stores in our neighborhood and marked our inventory down to beat our competition. We even got our cousins in on helping us scout and sell,” adds Ron.
They decided to launch Chef Ron’s Pastries as a way to build a legacy for their family. “Our grandparents set the foundation,” explains Ron. “We want to honor their legacy and build something that can benefit our future generations.” Chef Ron’s Pastries incorporates dozens of unique recipes that combine Ron’s French culinary background with their family recipes, creating a delectable and unique dessert experience.
Ron and Rhonda’s lawyer first told them about Main Street Launch’s Entrepreneurs in Residence program. “We wanted to grow our business beyond catering and events, but we needed guidance. We have the skills to do it, but not the knowledge,” says Rhonda. They met Robert Lattimore, Senior Vice President and director of the Entrepreneurs in Residence program, and a year later joined the program.
“The Entrepreneurs in Residence program really set the foundation for what we’re doing with our business now,” says Ron. Rhonda adds, “It feels like we got a masters degree in our business through this program.” Chef Ron’s Pastries is getting ready to fully launch into their first brick and mortar in 2019.
“The resources this program offers seem unlimited. Everyone is able to help, and Main Street staff have their doors open all the way to the top of the organization. This new support system we’ve developed feels like family,” says Ron.
You can find Chef Ron’s pastries at several locations, including Tertulia Coffee. Chef Ron’s is available to provide desserts for your business, cater your event (big and small), and partner with you to create a dessert that perfectly complements your meal. Visit their website for more details and to hire them for your next celebration.