AUSTIN, Texas — New Jersey entrepreneur Sianni Dean has opened the first-ever storefront for Cranky Granny Sweet Rolls in North Austin.
Dean had been making and selling sweet rolls in Willingboro, New Jersey, throughout her teenage years, thanks to an entrepreneur class she took in high school. She said her business idea was inspired by the women in her family.
“I started the business in dedication to my granny, grandmother and my mother,” Dean said. “I remembered all the great times we used to have, there was always food and different desserts involved.”
The idea meant a lot to Dean, but it still wasn’t enough to win her class’ annual entrepreneur competition. She said losing drove her to keep going.
“I went home, I was crying to my mom and things like that. I was very upset,” she remembered after losing three years in a row. “It just put something else in me, so I was actually thankful for not winning any of those years because I’m actually one of the only ones that’s still doing this, win or lose.”
After moving out of her mother’s house and selling rolls out of her apartment for years, Dean was looking to grow her business. She was given an opportunity through a Facebook group for entrepreneurs to sell her rolls halfway across the country in Austin out of Midtown Live Sports Cafe. It wouldn’t take long for Cranky Granny’s Sweet Rolls to take off in the city.
She said even though they miss her dearly up in New Jersey, Dean’s family is happy for the success she’s found in Austin. It’s the reason they were there for the opening of Cranky Granny’s first storefront shop back in May.
“Granny, she was crying,” she said. “It’s one thing to hear about what your granddaughter, your grandson is doing. It’s another to be there in the moment and see how many people are coming out to support.”
Even though Dean’s business is growing quickly, she hopes to take Cranky Granny’s beyond Austin.
“I see Cranky Granny’s sweet rolls being in every single state in America, I see it being a household name and I see everyone having a sweet roll in their belly,” she said.