Lakeland bakery makes 'Forbes Next 1,000' list

A small business owner in Polk County is being recognized as a standout entrepreneur. She just landed a spot on the "Forbes Next 1,000" list.

Whether you’re in the mood for something savory or sweet, there’s something on the menu at Born & Bread Bakehouse that’s sure to hit the spot.

"The chicken pot pie is just awesome. It almost tastes like something your grandmother made," customer Terry Lanier said.

Customer Mike Williams added, "This is probably the best bakery I've ever been to, I think. The food here is just amazing."

Owner Jenn Smurr credits the bakery’s success to the way she and her team of about 30 craft every item. They’re at it seven days a week to offer a variety of about 60 sandwiches, salads, breads, and baked goods.

Smurr says she’s always been passionate about food and was inspired by her travels in Europe to create a finer pastry.

"You're constantly making something from scratch. There are a lot of different steps. We don't use cups. We use the metric system," Smurr said.

The 33-year-old started the business with a stand at the local farmer’s market, growing over the last six years to a brick-and-mortar storefront on South Florida Avenue.

Last year, Born & Bread brought in $1.3-million in revenue.

Smurr’s dedication to quality -- and the business she’s built -- are now being recognized nationally.

The "Forbes Next 1,000" is an annual initiative to highlight driven businesspeople across the country. Smurr is one of 24 Florida entrepreneurs who made the list this summer.

"At the end of the day, even though that was such a great accolade, and it was such an amazing pat on the back, my head goes right back down, like I praise our team that we were able to do it. And I’m really grateful for the community that makes it possible," she said.

Because she says those are the two things that really matter most.