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We love it when we get a chance to share inspiring stories of successful NumberSquad clients. This success story is about a nurse turned pastry chef. Ilhama Safarova emigrated to the United States from her homeland of Azerbaijan in 2018. She had to overcome many challenges to pursue her dream. But she finally opened her “Sharbat,” a bakery in Washington D.C.

handmade pastries


Challenges Facing Today’s Small Business Clients

Sharbat is just one small business client who benefits from services offered at NumberSquad. We have watched Safarova face many difficulties and challenges. But she worked through each one to reach her dream. Being an entrepreneur is not easy. And as you can imagine, things are even tougher for a female immigrant small business owner like Safarova. However, to those who are determined, “Nothing is impossible.” Her passion to open and operate a bakery helped her overcome the obstacles she faced. She had to overcome language, cultural, social, and economic barriers. Because of her good work ethic, determination, and the help of NumberSquad, her bakery also survived the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Crafted Bakery Chef

Bakery Chef

Bakery Chef

Safarova wanted to bake pastries that she had enjoyed in her homeland. But she also wanted to share them with the world. The bakery was more than a business to her. It was an opportunity to share the culinary culture of her home country with others. She started by baking pastries, cakes, and sweets. The Sharbat bakery menu includes pastries like a delicious crunchy pakhlava. It also includes the customer’s favorite crescent moon-shaped shekerbufa. She also included many menu items common to the neighboring countries of Azerbaijan and Georgia. Safarova often shared her delicious pastries and treats with the NumberSquad team!

Now a Successful Small Business Owner

small business

Sharbat Bakery

All successful start-ups benefit from starting with passion. The best business ideas are birthed from passion and a person’s hobbies. When an entrepreneur turns their passion into a business, they enjoy doing it. Sharbat continues to grow. Its popularity is growing and it is still attracting customers in Washington, D.C. Writer Tom Sietsema even featured the bakery’s specialty foods and success story of Safarova in the Washington Post.

The Role of NumberSquad

NumberSquad Client

NumberSquad Client

NumberSquad started out working with Safarova’s business from the beginning. We help her with financial tasks. Our team handled tasks like preparing her business plan, bookkeeping, processing payroll, and paying taxes. By handling these  time-consuming tasks for Safarova, she was then freed up to focus on baking her tasty pastries and treats for customers. Currently, the NumberSqaud team continues to guide her and take care of all her business finances.

We at NumberSquad are proud to support successful women entrepreneurs like Ilhama Safarova. Her hard work, diligence, and entrepreneurial abilities, and grit helped the Sharbat Bakery survive the pandemic and continue to flourish as one of the most popular ethnic bakeries in the DC area.