Tammy Berkowitz ’02
Hometown: Stamford, CT/ Atlanta, GA
Current Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Why did you choose SHA?
I always knew I wanted to be in the hospitality industry. When I started at SHA I planned on becoming an Event Planner.
What is your favorite BU memory?
Some of my favorite memories were during my marketing and cooking classes.
What was your first full-time job, and how did you end up in your current position?
My first full time job was as an event planner for the US Pavilion to the 2005 World’s Fair. I had the opportunity to plan events for VIP’s and sponsors visiting the pavilion. Some of these events included guests such as former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, many state Governors including Haley Barbour and Dr. Toyoda from the Toyota Motor Corporation. This position had an end date as the World’s Fair only runs for 6 months and the planning takes a few years. I was with the organization December 2003 to October 2005. Upon my return to the US, my husband and I moved to Pittsburgh, PA where I decided to follow a childhood dream and started a baking business out of my own kitchen.
Please describe your current role, and how your SHA education has impacted your career.
After baking out of my home and a local synagogue, I decided I needed to move forward with my business and open an actual retail location. In 2008, my husband left his job to help me open up my bakery, Sweet Tammy’s, which started out in a small location in the Squirrel Hill area of Pittsburgh. We have since moved to a larger facility where most of our business is wholesale and we sell to the local supermarket, Giant Eagle which has over 180 stores, Whole Foods and several other small retailers. We are continually growing and hope to one day become a national brand. Our product is unique in that we specialize in artisanal kosher pareve (non-dairy) breads and cookies. SHA gave me a solid basic business background which helps me every day in running a small business.
Any advice for current and prospective students?
It’s important to believe in yourself when venturing out on your own. Along with that however it is crucial to have a solid business plan and understand that working for yourself is harder and more time consuming than any other job out there.