Chocolate-covered strawberries aren't just for Valentine's Day anymore.
At least that's what Bradford resident Elizabeth Miranda believes, after launching her own business, 'Berries by Betty' in 2019, just months before the start of the pandemic.
Early on in the pandemic when people were trying to stay connected while staying a part, Miranda began creating boxes of chocolate-covered strawberries and delivering them to her friends as care packages. She decided to start her own Instagram page, post pictures of her creations, and, hopefully, sell a few boxes. Miranda had thought about expanding her services and offering different chocolate-covered treats, such as fruits and cookies – one of the struggles she had when creating her brand – but decided to stick with just berries.
Her very first paying customer was her sister, who placed a large order to be delivered to her friends. Miranda recalls her sister requesting a label for each box with a small card. The request had Miranda scrambling to come up with a logo for her business to affix to the berry boxes.
“I did that for her, and then posted those first few boxes on my Instagram, and it kind of just kicked off from there!” she said.
In her boxes of dipped strawberries, Miranda offers a variety of chocolate dip options such as milk, white, and dark chocolate, and, upon request, vegan chocolate.
Since starting her business three years ago, Miranda says she has learned a lot. She says running her own business has greatly improved her time management and customer service skills. Working closely with customers to create their customized boxes and designs was something new for her, having never worked in a field that involved too much customer service. Miranda says figuring out how to properly price her products has also been a learning experience.
"It's simple but it's pretty," she said.
Another popular item is her berry chocolate bar boxes, with peanut toppings, Oreo crumble and crushed Skor bars.
"So people like that the strawberries have like the extra sweetness," she said.
One of Miranda's busiest times of year is Valentine’s Day.
She says “Valentine's is about spreading love and showing people that you love each other, so it makes me excited that I get to be a part of that.”
But creating Valentine’s boxes for customers isn’t the only thing Miranda says she has been proud of. She loves being part of any special occasion – and has even made her berries for weddings.
“That was very exciting for me because it's awesome that my berries get to be a part of someone's very special day in their lives!” she said.
What does the future look like for Miranda and her berry business?
“I just finished my program! I went to school to be a teacher,” she said. But this isn’t the end for her berry biz. Miranda says she never wants to give up Berries by Betty, and wants to stick around for all of the special occasions. She is looking forward to summer and strawberry season.
“I get a kick out of just being up all night making strawberries for other people," she said. "It's just so exciting to be a part of these special occasions.”
“I never thought Berries by Betty would be what it is today. It kind of started as a little bit of a joke, just something to do during COVID because I was bored. But then it turned into something. And I'm glad that I did it," she said.
She says with the encouragement of friends and family, she decided to go for it. “What could go wrong? The only thing that could have gone wrong is maybe nobody would end up wanting my product. If you don't try it, then you never know.”
You can find Berries by Betty on Instagram @berriesbybetty or Facebook @Berries by Betty.