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Bipolar Disorder Disabled Woman Seeks Grant For Breakfast Pastry Shop

by Amanda Whitesinger
(Chandler, AZ, USA)

I am 28 years old and disabled by bipolar disorder. I'm looking for a grant to start up a breakfast pastry business.

I have a four-year-old son, Matthew, that I love dearly. He recently got diagnosed with having Asperger syndrome.

It has been extremely challenging for me but I have a lot of support from my family and friends.

I grew up in a small town in upstate New York and went to college in Providence, Rhode Island. I obtained my Associates in Baking and Pastry Arts and my Bachelor's in Food Service Management.

I moved to Arizona after I graduated and continued to work in my field making pastries and desserts for a five star hotel.

I got an opportunity to work in sales when I was 22 and decided to switch careers. I started making six figures a year from when I was 23 to 27.

I flourished and thrived for those years, buying my first home when I was 24 and buying a new car for myself. I had my son when I was 24 and managed to continue working 60 hours a week and taking care of a newborn.

The company I worked for unfortunately shut down and I was left with a son, a house, a mortgage payment and no source of income.

I bounced around to some 20 odd jobs trying to find a place for myself in an established company with a good reputation that would allow me to make commission and not sacrifice my morals, values and ethics.

In August of 2011 I got diagnosed with being schizoaffective and having bipolar disorder. I was a mess at the time, depressed and unable to continue working.

My symptoms got so bad that I stopped working altogether to try to get my mind right. I have been out of work for almost a year and I am finally starting to feel better.

I am on the right kind of medication that works for my body and I'm going to therapy every two weeks. I am finally starting to feel like my old self again.

I have been getting by solely on child support from my ex husband and times have been rough. With my new found self and confidence I am making the decision that its time to go back to work.

But what can I do? I surely don't want to go back to sales. It's high pressure and high stress, and it's difficult for me to hold a normal nine to five job with my bipolar symptoms.

I have been given an opportunity to make pastries again for a bistro that has been open for 20 years. I have a chance to go back to what I love doing which is creating art with food.

I would also create my own schedule that will be flexible for my medical condition. I can be my own boss and not have to have the normal job pressure and stress that is so hard on me.

This opportunity takes money though and that I do not have. If I could get some help to start my business off the ground it would be so great. I would be able to rent space in this building and have my own bakery.

This excites me so much because for the past year I have felt miserable. My passion is ignited again and this is the perfect opportunity for me to change my life around.

I would be able to provide for my son, have the time to take care of him and his many needs, and also be able to take care of myself mentally, physically, and spiritually by doing what I love to do which is baking.

I was diagnosed with being schizoaffective and bipolar in August of 2011 when I started hallucinating and hearing voices. I was also having major panic attacks and extreme episodes of depression.

I have been seeing a psychiatrist since I got diagnosed and going to counseling every two weeks to help work through the depression and anxiety.

In February of 2012 I finally found a medication that works for me. I have been stable for the past four months and feel like its time to do something with my life again.

I have been unemployed with no source of income since August of 2011. I receive $1,000 in child support a month and that is what I have been living off of.

My house is in foreclosure and I had to declare a Chapter 7 in August of 2011 because I had so much debt from not working and no source of income.

Things have been difficult. My son has Asperger's and has a lot of doctor appointments. I take three different kinds of medication to keep me stable with the bipolar disorder.

I struggle and stress every week. I'm behind on my bills and I never have enough money. I recently had to borrow money from my mother just to buy groceries for my house. It's hard, yet by the grace of God I've made it this far.

I applied for SSI and SSDI in September of 2011 when I got diagnosed with my disorder. I got denied in February of 2012 and then again in June of 2012. I have one option and that is to go back to work. I'm barely hanging on with my finances and my family deserves a better life then this.

I am looking for grant money to start up my own bakery to be able to provide for my family. I will be able to work just four hours every morning and earn an income that will provide for my family and me.

I'm not greedy and can make a dollar stretch a long way. I just need a little help to buy the equipment needed to make my pastries and money to start up for the first month. I know that with my background, education and training I can make this successful.

I want to open up a bakery that will be serving breakfast pastries and other homemade goods. I have the opportunity to rent out a space in an already established business to bring in revenue.

I will be making coffee cake, cinnamon rolls, Danish pastries, pecan rolls and cranberry orange bread for breakfast. I also want to have a coffee station. There will be brownies, kolaches, pies and truffles that will also be made and sold there.

The cost to buy the equipment is $5,000 and the cost to buy the ingredients for the first month is anywhere from $2,000 to $2,500. I expect to see a profit of $5,000 per month.

There are business complexes that are in the area of the restaurant and it's a perfect spot for a target market for people to come in and get something quick to eat for breakfast before work.

There are also apartment complexes that are being built one block over that will be another target market.

I will manage the bakery and make all the products. I need one other staff member to run the cash register and that's it. Simple, small, and smart.

This will bring in enough revenue to keep the place up and running and allow me to make a profit of at least $3,000 to $4,000 a month.

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Jun 11, 2012
Just an alternative
by: Ken

Hi Amanda,

That sounds like a sweet deal! Do you think that the restaurant owners could buy your baked goods in exchange for lease payments? You may also be able to talk to a used equipment company. Tell them your story and they may be able to rent to own the equipment. You will never know if you don't ask. In this economy many people will do things out of the ordinary. Sell them on the human aspect of business. Money is so tight right now, that some of the used, even new would look at it. The worst possible thing that could happen would be if you couldn't make payments on the equipment and they would have to take it back and as it is used equipment, it has already devalued in price. And as far as the product you need goes, the restaurant owners more than likely have credit with their suppliers and you could get them to purchase the products you need then you pay them back within their credit terms. Other than this, you could think over the possibility of bringing in a partner that has some collateral or cash. Like I have mentioned, money from the government is not there.

Best of luck,

Jun 10, 2012
Additional Information
by: Amanda

I do have a lawyer from the start of it and it doesn't seem to be helping any. I have a restaurant that has been in business for twenty years that I'm able to lease the side part out to do my bakery. They already have a lot of equpiment and all I need is minimal to start it up. I've done the figures and the equipment is only $5,000. Add another five for product purchasing and I'm in business. With my particular situation I don't have much overhead, so the cost is minimal. Thank you for your feedback.

Jun 10, 2012
Taking a Chance in Chandler
by: Ken

Hi Amanda,

Sorry to hear about your situation. You need a SSI lawyer. There is no reason that you can't collect, but governments are always saying NO to begin with. I do have a couple of great websites for you to look at:



I don't think you have the right figures to start up a small bakery. I am doing this myself and it will cost me $40,000 for permits, licensing, insurance... many things. If you want I can send you some of the work that I have been working on for the last three years. Please contact me through my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Cheeto11). If I can help in any way, I will. I have some very profitable ideas. Wish you the best.


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