In 2014, Teresa Greenway, who had spent the last few years escaping an abusive marriage and bouncing around between California and Washington as she tried to support her young kids, was trying to figure out how to make money.
“I did any work that I could find,” she says. “I worked as a hotel maid for a while. I worked as a nanny for a while. I worked in two bakeries.” Greenway had married young, had 10 kids, and had never gotten a college degree. “I felt like I didn’t have anything to offer to the workforce,” she says.
That year, once she was back in Washington state full time, Greenway got a scholarship to take business coach Sherold Barr’s online course, “Smart Women Make Money.” As Greenway tried to figure out her next career moves, Barr asked point blank, “What can you do?”
“Well,” Greenway says she told Barr, “I can make sourdough.”
Greenway had started baking sourdough bread as a hobby in 2004. Since then, she’d honed her craft and accumulated years of experience. In researching how she could potentially build a business on that experience, she discovered online course website Udemy. She decided to create a sourdough-making course and posted it in May 2015.
“The very first month of my course, I made $1,000,” she says, “which was amazing because, at that point, I was only making about $300 a month.”
Since then, Greenway, now 63, has uploaded a total of 13 courses onto the site, including a slew of courses on more sourdough baking, pizza crust baking, and challah bread baking. She’s made $323,000 from Udemy altogether.
Here’s how she built her online baking empire.
The first loaf was ‘blistered and beautiful’
Greenway’s foray into sourdough-making initially came as a challenge. In 2004, her eldest daughter tried to learn how to bake some herself. Never quite able to figure it out, she gave up and told Greenway, “nobody can make real sourdough bread, Mom, not even you.”
Challenge accepted. It took several months, but Greenway was, ultimately, able to perfect the art.
“When I made the first loaf that was really successful, it was all blistered and beautiful and it was crackling out of the oven and my children were dancing around clapping,” she says. “It was just such an amazing moment that I decided that that I was going to open up a website and share.”
Greenway founded a site called Northwest Sourdough, which included a blog where she shared the lessons she’d learned.
‘Why don’t I try to do a Udemy course?’
Greenway’s sourdough bread.
Courtesy Teresa …….