During the pandemic, moms have received a lot of media attention as they balance work, childcare and family responsibilities. While these challenges for moms — especially those who work outside of the home — have been highlighted in the last 18 months, they aren’t something that happened overnight.
“These dynamics aren’t new,” according to a roundup of surveys by the Pew Research Center in March 2021. “Before the pandemic began, women were already more likely than their spouses or partners to say they carried more of the load when it comes to both parenting and household responsibilities. In addition, moms were more likely than dads to say they faced certain challenges at their jobs because they were balancing work and family responsibilities.”
Suzanne Singer, a Jewish mom who was juggling multiple roles well before the pandemic, can attest to that. A single mom of two daughters, Singer is an Arizona State University alum who owns multiple Nothing Bundt Cakes and Nektar Juice Bar locations across Greater Phoenix.
Singer opened her first Nothing Bundt Cakes location in Scottsdale in 2007.
“Originally Nothing Bundt Cakes was founded by two friends in Las Vegas in 1997, but what many people do not know is that bakeries are now franchised and individually owned,” said Margaret Anderson, founder of Jet Set Elite DMC in Scottsdale, who met Singer in 2008 at a celebrity charity event where Nothing Bundt Cakes was a sponsor. Since then, the two have remained friends. “Over 20 years ago, Sue [Singer] was a pharmaceutical rep who would buy these delicious treats for doctors’ offices as gifts. During that time, she became a single mom and knew that she had to pivot her career to be able to have more time with her daughters.
“It was big gamble, but she knew that she had to make it work,” Anderson said. “Now 14 years later not only has it been an enormous success, but she opened a second location in Arcadia/Central Phoenix and has also ventured out and opened four Nektar Juice Bar locations, two in Phoenix and two in Tucson.”
Singer credits her work ethic for the success she’s had.
“Opening the first Nothing Bundt Cakes location in Scottsdale was stressful, but I had to work through it, and I did — luckily, with hard work and help,” Singer said.
Singer has two daughters: One is a sophomore at ASU and one is a teenager, who just celebrated her bat mitzvah.
Of her youngest daughter, Singer said, “she is my ‘ride or die.’ When she was a baby and the business was new, I just brought her to work in a Pack ‘N Play before she was old enough for daycare. As she got older, she spent a lot of time at The J, and my older daughter worked for me at the bakery for years.”
Singer jokes that her eldest probably was happy to leave that job and her mom’s high expectations behind when she went to college.
But whatever high expectations Singer has of her children, she also has of herself.
“In everything I do, I want to set a good example for my daughters,” she said. “I want them to know that they need to be the best people they can be, and give 100% of themselves, or else they’re shortchanging themselves.”
Part of setting that example and living her Jewish faith out loud is giving back to the community. Over the years, Singer has donated to a variety of local charitable agencies, including the local humane society and various children’s charities. “In particular animal and children’s causes are close to my heart because they have no voice,” Singer said. “If you have the ability to help others, you definitely should.”
This philosophy extends to her employees. During the height of the pandemic, Singer did her best to support her employees when they needed it — especially financially when stores were originally closed.
“Sue’s personality is not one that brags on her contributions so there is not a lot of fanfare with her accomplishments,” Anderson said. “However, as an on-looker, I know how much she cares about our community, cares about the causes that are important to our community and how much she cares about her staff.”
As the owner of multiple bakeries and juice shops, no one day is the same for Singer. She spends a lot of time helping manage each retail location, and of course, is on hand to step in to do what is needed at any time. She shared that her original Scottsdale location of Nothing Bundt Cakes is the busiest, so she is most often there. She’s also proud that the store is certified kosher.
For fellow moms with entrepreneurial goals, Singer advised that they do their research first, and that it takes a leap of faith. “Being an entrepreneur has changed my life for the better,” she said. “For other moms who want to be entrepreneurs, I always let them know to do the work and believe in themselves. And, like I tell my daughters, to give their 100%.
“Part of being Jewish to me, and teaching my daughter who just had her bat mitzvah about being Jewish, is to have a servant’s heart,” Singer added. “I love what I do and am so grateful to be a business owner and to be able to serve the public. I appreciate my staff and the community’s support so much.” JN