Hi! I'm Jessica, founder/owner of Millie's Mama Bakes. In June 2018, after dabbling in cookie decorating for my daughter's preschool class, I was bullied into taking orders for friends and family. Ok, not really, but I was asked A LOT, and I finally decided if they had enough faith to pay me the money, I would give it a try. IT EXPLODED. Before I knew it, I was booked through the end of the year, doing holiday pre-order sales and all the things. I had myself a part time job on my hands, that fueled me in a way my full time job never did. I continued honing my craft for the next 18 months and dreamed about doing this full time. But was I was good enough, smart enough or hard working enough to sell sugar and flour to pay our bills?
In December 2019, I decided to leave my job as a corporate event planner in order to turn my part time passion, into my full time job. Was there a lot of uncertainty? Yes! But I knew I wanted to wake up and be excited about my job, and stop commuting an hour each way to somewhere that didn't fill me up! So...I took a leap of faith, (with the full support of my very steady husband, Jason) which was so out of character for someone with my personality type.
Three months later, a global pandemic changed the course of my business in an instant. That was something we never thought about, planned for, or had any answers for. While the initial shock of a national shut down was a big blow, I got to find out how truly adaptable I really am. My cookie classes were cancelled, weddings were being postponed for months to a year, birthday parties were downsized and my calendar dried up. No one needed custom cookies and I still needed to contribute to my family.
It was time to PIVOT (I can't help but say it just like Ross), and figure out how to do business when the world stopped spinning. So I started making DIY cookie kits with educational tidbits to help parents entertain their kids who were now home 24-7. I made toilet paper shaped cookies for people to drop off to their friends and family to let them know they are thinking of them and miss them. I lowered my minimum order requirement to 1 dozen so kids could celebrate their birthdays with something special. But one thing in particular changed the game for me and my business.
A woman named Anna began organizing a neighborhood meet up at her community pool. She scheduled a food truck and hoped it would get people out of their houses and let them interact with their neighbors safely during a time of wild uncertainty. She asked me if I would be interested in setting up a table to sell cookies at one of these meet ups. I said yes, without really knowing what I was going to do, but luckily I had dabbled in other types of cookies so I at least had recipes, even if I had no other plan. I showed up, popped up my 8ft table, set up my cookies and it was a hit!
Before long, other neighborhoods started doing the same thing, and I was invited to those as well. Within a month or 2, I was setting up at 1-3 neighborhoods a week! But y'all, it's HOT in NC, and summer was here. So, we took our second big leap and invested in a 6x10ft trailer, outfitted it with cute flooring, decor and shelving, and hit the road in whats now known as "The Cookie Trailer".
For the last year, I have been loading up this trailer and setting up all over Sanford at places like Hugger Mugger, the Farmers Market, 7-8 local schools, 6-7 neighborhoods, Spivey Farms, and more! I have adapted and created over 50 flavors of cookies, dessert bars, jar treats, and most recently added French Macarons to the menu with huge support.
I am always so stunned by the turnout at events, the reaction to my cookies, and the joy it brings to people of ALL ages. I get asked so often if I have a store or when I am going to finally open one. I never thought in my wildest dreams I would ever need to move out of my home kitchen into a commercial space. But like the old saying goes, "if you bake it, they will come" (or something like that).
So here we are. June seems to be the month for all the change at Millie's Mama Bakes. June 2018, I opened for business. June 2020, the Cookie Trailer joined the team, and now June 2021, we have signed a lease on a dream space in the historic district of downtown Sanford, NC. We plan to use this space first and foremost as a place to produce more product in less time so we can bring more cookies to the community. Having a more productive space will allow more custom orders, weddings, and other large community events we haven't had the capacity to take on in our home space! We will grow into having a small counter with walk in service as we get our cookie legs! We want this space to feel like your home away from home, so we are going to put every minute we aren't baking into it.
However, to serve you as best we can, we need your help! At Millie's Mama Bakes, we truly believe in community and team work so we want to wholeheartedly ask you to be a part of this. As many of you know, running a business is not cheap. That's why we've created this campaign. All funds raised will go to outfitting the new space with the equipment we need to take this thing to the next level. A kitchen does not currently exist in the space so the undertaking is a big one! Take a look at our awesome rewards for you, our supporters! There is an option for every budget and please don't think that your donation doesn't matter; it does. Every little bit helps!
We have dreamed about a storefront for a long time now. The meeting place it will be for our community, the excitement it will bring to those that have been cheering us on from the beginning, and a space to finally call home for our little business. We can't wait to share it with you and are so grateful you have chosen to be a part! THANK YOU for all of your support! Every cookie bought, every post shared, every prayer prayed has set us up for this, and we literally can't thank you enough!
XOXO- Jess, Jason and Amelia (Millie)
All coupons, tees, and stickers will be available by Aug 31 2021. Classes/Cookie Collab will be scheduled on a case by case basis with no expiration date
FROM THE BOTTOM OF YOUR HEARTS
Jason, Jessica & Amelia (Millie)