Aspart of my series about “Powerful Womxn Who Are Changing The World”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Daphne Subar, who is a law practitioner turned baker and entrepreneur! Not only is she on a mission to help the world be a little sweeter, but she also hopes to inspire women to follow their passions and achieve their dreams.
I am thrilled to highlight Daphne Subar and share her inspiring story and delicious creations.
After practicing law for many years, Daphne came to the realization that it was time to follow her dreams and passion and open a bakery. She knew that she wanted to create something unique, something tasty, and something sweet. After thinking (and over-thinking) this idea for several years and being encouraged and nudged by friends and family, she finally had the courage to take the next step, and Subarz was launched.
Growing up, Daphne Subar always loved to bake and watch her mother in the kitchen. She shared that once she had a family of her own, the kitchen became a communal place in her home, not only for her husband and daughters but for friends and family as well.
While her children were little she experimented and adapted recipes to appeal to their various taste preferences, as well as their various dietary restrictions and allergies. Through those experiments, she developed a recipe for mandelbread — which soon became a favorite among friends and family.
After perfecting that recipe, she knew it was time to create something unique. She endeavored to combine the flavor and texture of mandelbread with the ease and popularity of a cookie or a bar. After spending hours in the kitchen and through trial and error with various ingredients and shapes, Subarz were created and were an instant hit.
Over the years, Daphne has introduced expanded the selection of Subarz, and now offers gluten-free Subarz as well as Passover-friendly Subarz. Daphne is always looking for new ways to make this crazy world just a little bit sweeter, bite-by-bite
Thank you so much for taking the time to catch up with me! I’ve been so inspired by you and the work you’re doing. Tell us a bit about your organization.
Thank you so much for your interest in Subarzsweets. I am excited to share my story and what I have been doing with you. After practicing law for over 25 years, I decided to leave my career and launch Subarzsweets in 2016. Subarzsweets is an online bakery that helps its clients with all of their gift-giving needs, both professional and personal. Additionally, we consistently partner with meaningful organizations to give back to the community.
What do you love about it?
There is really so much to love about what I am doing. I never thought I would want to work for myself or run my own business, but I was wrong. I love the challenge and I love the constant learning that helps me grow both personally and professionally. Every day is different and I love the fact that I help make other people’s lives easier by assisting with their gift-giving needs.
Another thing that I love about my business is it is a constant reminder of how kind and thoughtful people can be. I receive orders daily that are sent to someone to celebrate just about anything! Gifts are ordered to tell someone they are loved, to remind a college student they are missed, that their parents are proud of them, or to just brighten someone’s day. During the pandemic, I was able to witness so many acts of kindness when Subarz were sent to those who may have been helping an elderly community member, checking on a relative, or to healthcare workers to thank them.
I also love that we try to give back to our community as much as possible. We have partnered with many different organizations through the years donating a portion of sales and helping to raise awareness of key issues and groups.
How did you get into this?
I have always loved baking and experimenting in the kitchen. I have three daughters and needed to accommodate their food allergies and aversions as well as medical conditions when preparing food. I became comfortable adapting recipes to meet our family’s needs. My daughters knew that I always dreamed of owning a bakery and when Shira, my youngest daughter was in third grade, she prepared a flyer for my “bakery” as part of a school project. The tagline was “All bars, one bakery” and that flyer was on the outside of our refrigerator for years as a reminder of something I had always hoped to do. Several years later, when my oldest daughter, Ariela was graduating college and wanted to pursue a career in theater, I encouraged her to follow her passion and to try it out, despite unsolicited comments she was receiving from others trying to persuade her to pursue a more financially stable career. Talia (my middle daughter) heard me telling others several times that Ariela should follow her passion, and finally, Talia turned to me and asked why I wasn’t following my passion and why I wasn’t starting the bakery I had always dreamt of starting. I realized that there would be no better time, and I decided to follow the advice of my daughters and launch Subarzsweets.
What do you think makes you amazing at what you do?
Honestly, I think it is just my hard work, perseverance, and positive attitude. I don’t give up easily and just keep pushing through. I am lucky to have the support of so many behind me which makes it easier to keep trying, even when things get tough.
What is the most challenging part of your work?
Probably one of the most challenging things is knowing when to stop working. I could easily spend 16 hours a day creating new recipes, baking, marketing, or doing any number of things to help my business, but I have to remind myself that this is a marathon, not a sprint. I have to remember that I can’t get everything done in a day. That is hard for me.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I had wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I remember.
What was your first job? What did you learn from it?
Growing up, my father owned a gas station and my first job was working for him. I started at a pretty young age and wasn’t able to do much but he would pay me to dust the oil cans. I slowly moved up in responsibility and eventually was allowed to help pump gas. This was clearly many years ago when most gas stations were full-serve.
If you could talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Listen to your gut! Do what you think is right and if you make a mistake it is ok. Take more risks.
Who is one of your heroes and why?
I have many heroes — both famous and personal. My parents, my husband, and all three of my daughters are my heroes for different reasons. Right now, my oldest daughter is battling stage IV Hodgkins Lymphoma and she is winning that battle. She continues to fight and endure chemo like a pro and tries to live as much as possible between her chemo sessions. She is one of my heroes due to her resilience, strength, and contagious smile.
Is there anyone who has helped you achieve in life, such as a mentor or advisor?
My oldest sister is one of my closest advisors. I talk to her almost daily and run many of my business ideas by her and she either tells me I’m nuts, (not that often,) or tells me to just try it. She is always coming up with creative ideas and flavors for Subarz.
When you aren’t working, what do you enjoy doing?
I love to travel, see friends, (pre-pandemic), and read. Recently, my youngest daughter taught me to crochet and I am hoping to finish a blanket up for Ariela before she finishes chemotherapy.
I believe there is power in sharing our big dreams and audacious goals. What’s one of the biggest dreams or goals you have?
I have so many dreams, which are what keep me going. One of my biggest and related to Subarzsweets is to have my own production facility, my own operations manager, and to have Subarz available at retail locations nationwide.
Just for fun:
- Something you’re terrible at: Crossword puzzles and folding fitted sheets
- Favorite cuisine: Sushi
- Biggest fear: Getting Alzheimer's or Dementia when I am older.
- Guilty pleasure: Getting a massage.
- Pet peeve: People who are late
What does being a powerful womxn mean to you?
Being authentic and honest. We are all unique, powerful and have so much to give back if we just allow ourselves to be honest and authentic.
How are you hoping to impact the world through who you are and what you do?
First, I would like to show others that it is never too late or too difficult to follow your passion, whatever that may be. I pivoted from a lawyer to a baker mid-life and this “second career” has taught me so much about who I am and what I am capable of doing.
Second, I would like to try to make this world a little bit sweeter. Not only do I strive to do that by working with others to send Subarz as gifts, more importantly, we also try to do that by giving back as much as possible. In the past, we have partnered with GLSENLA, The Oscar Litwak Foundation, SCAD Alliance, RAINN, LAFLA, and other amazing organizations. We have provided healthcare heroes and other front-line workers with Subarz to show how much they are appreciated.
Additionally, when many lost their jobs suddenly at the beginning of the pandemic, we hired unemployed Angelino’s to deliver Subarz locally. There is always more we can do, but as long as we each try to do something, the world will be a little bit better and