The Magic Tap: How One Baker Turned Payments into a Treat for Customers

When her son was born prematurely in 2017, Heather Driscoll and her husband stayed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with their newborn for more than 100 days. Grateful for the lifesaving care provided by the doctors and nurses, the new mom decided to get creative in thanking the hospital staff.

Heather Driscoll
Heather Driscoll, founder of Magical Box Bakery

“I couldn't think of any gift that would really show my gratitude, so I baked cookies and cupcakes as often as I could and I would bring them to the hospital for the doctors and nurses,” said Heather, who works as a teacher in California. Her treats were well received. One day, when she brought cookies to the hospital, Heather overheard a nurse whisper “the magical red box is back!”

A few years later, Heather transformed her hobby into a small business. Inspired by the appreciative NICU nurse, she named her business Magical Box Bakery. “I started my business during COVID-19 because the world seemed like a really dark place at the time, and I’ve always baked to cope with stressful or sad situations,” she said. She now sells small-batch artisanal cookies, cakes, breads and more, online and in-person at farmers' markets in the San Francisco Bay Area. 


Selling in a Cashless World

Operating a small business during the pandemic, Heather faced a new reality when it came to payments. “No one carries cash anymore,” said Heather. “They want to pay with cards or with digital wallets.”

Venmo Cookie
Venmo business profile users can manage their Venmo and
card transactions directly within the Venmo app

To remain competitive, small businesses need to quickly adapt to evolving consumer behaviors. But finding a way to securely accept different payment types often requires businesses to pay for and manage additional technologies and hardware, which can make things complicated and expensive.

To offer her customers more payment choices, Heather started using Venmo business profiles, which enabled her to accept Venmo payments. “So many people already use Venmo, and I wanted to offer my customers an additional way to pay,” she said.

“Having [customers] scan the Venmo QR Code and pay via their smartphone puts them at ease. Customers are always excited to see that as an option to pay.”
While the process to pay with Venmo was straightforward, providing Heather’s in-person customers with the option to pay with a credit card did not come as easily.

“Previously, I used a card reader to accept credit and debit cards, but having to ensure the separate device was always charged along with having two separate dashboards to manage was a challenge,” she said.

Tap for Treats

To meet her customers’ needs while also removing the complexity of managing two different payment systems, Heather recently turned to Venmo’s new Tap to Pay solution.

Gina Schütz
Birthday Cake Cookies from Magical Box Bakery

“I wanted to be able to give my customers more ways to pay that were simple for them, and for me,” said Heather.

With Tap to Pay through Venmo, small U.S. businesses like Magical Box Bakery can begin securely accepting payments from cards and digital wallets with a simple tap directly on their mobile devices with no upfront cost or additional hardware. Venmo business profile users can manage their Venmo and card transactions directly within the Venmo app, helping to streamline sales and operations.
“I can accept credit and debit cards directly on my phone, manage all of my transactions in one place, and have my funds settle directly within the Venmo app," said Heather. “It has been seamless to add the Venmo Tap to Pay feature where anybody can make a credit transaction and it goes right into my Venmo business account.”

Tap-to-Pay Payment
“If a customer walks up and orders a box of chocolate
chip cookies, they can pay almost instantly,” Heather said.

The wide range of payment options for customers has allowed Magical Box Bakery to expand their customer base.

“It's always in a business owner's best interest to have a very wide variety of options for payments,” Heather stressed. “Being flexible with the different types of payments that you can take is probably the most important thing if you’re selling in-person or online. The easier it is for a customer to pay, the easier it is for you to get paid.”

Tap to Pay and Venmo business profiles removes the extra obstacles for both the customer and the small business owner, she said.

“If a customer walks up and orders a box of chocolate chip cookies, they can pay almost instantly,” Heather said. “If it takes me 15 minutes to link my payment hardware to my phone, that customer might get impatient and take their business elsewhere. Tap to Pay makes it easy because it’s so fast.”

The Future Looks Sweet

Magical Box Bakery Boxes
Magical boxes from Magical Box Bakery

Now that Heather can accept all her customers’ preferred payment types and manage transactions all in one spot, she’s focused on growing her business. In addition to fulfilling the increased demand for sweets, Magical Box Bakery is transitioning to a mobile cookie/coffee trailer this year.

She also looks forward to being an active part of what she calls her “cookie community,” sharing advice on everything from baking tips to product reviews.

In the meantime, Heather shared her advice for other entrepreneurs looking to start their own business: “Find your community. The local cookie community has been amazing where we often refer customers to each other if we can't accommodate an order. Having a supportive network, especially as a small business owner, is so important. Community over competition!”


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