Many people know that I love baking. Few realize I actually never meant to start Jamie’s Baked Goodies (J.B.G).
Jamie’s Baked Goodies (J.B.G) started by mistake
When I graduated from college 2012, I decided to turn down an opportunity with the Health Department to work with my dad at Sunnyside. My family thought this was a bit crazy. To me it made perfect sense.
In college, my partner and I dreamed daily about starting our own business. It was a bakery to be exact. He would run the store, while I did the baking. We dreamed about this for about a year, before coming up with a solid plan. We discussed what we wanted our bakery to look like, what it’s hours of operation would be, and where it would be located. We even came up with our menu as I experimented with new recipes. After about a year of planning, we invested in our first bit of equipment.
I sold mini bundt cakes, cookies, and brownies in college, as I learned to perfect my recipes. My goal was to have a few great cake and doughnut recipes for our future bakery, as well as grow my reputation as a master baker. This was successful and helped earn enough money for my partner and I to invest in our first few pieces of baking equipment.
We couldn’t have been more excited.
Our first gig
In the Spring of 2012, my partner and I had our first big baking gig. We sold mini donuts and brownies at our Alma Mater’s Relay for Life event. It was a HUGE success. We gained viability, new customers, and invaluable experience.Most importantly we learned our dream may have to start a little differently than we planned.
The best laid plans…
My partner and I had talked briefly about a food truck before our first event, but never really went into great detail. After the first event, we realized it would probably be a necessity. Starting our dream bakery was going to cost us at least $80,000. We were graduating soon and both had student loans that would not allow us the opportunity to secure funding for such a venture. A food truck, however, would only run us about $15,000.
As we started shaping our goals for the food truck, life stepped in. I won’t go into the full details of what happened, but we both experienced significant losses and changes in our families. Add to the fact that we were graduating, trying to figure out career options, and attempting to secure housing, and you can imagine the world-wind around us. Nonetheless, we kept our goals in the forefront of our minds.
I should’ve chosen the “high paying job”
Instead, of taking a job most would consider the “smart” option, I decided to help my dad at Sunnyside. Sure, making close to six figures my first year out of college would have been nice, but working with my dad at Sunnyside was more valuable to me.
Sunnyside was my dream. As a kid, I dreamed of someday working in and eventually owning the store. When my dad decided to rent it and pursue other career options, that dream faded. His reopening of the store, allowed the dream to resurface. This time though, I would not only be able to live out my original dream, I could also learn the skills necessary for my partner and I to eventually open our baking business.
I spent my first year at Sunnyside learning how to properly run a business and build a brand, under my father’s guidance. By the end of it, I realized this was actually something I wanted to do long term. My partner and I reevaluated our goals and dreams, making sure to include Sunnyside in it. We would continue to pursue the food truck, setup up at festivals and events, and I would continue to also work with my dad at Sunnyside.
We setup at one more event together that year, and then hit a stand still. The money wasn’t coming together for a food truck because of other responsibilities. Neither of us ever gave up our dream, but it seemed to be getting dimmer as life continued.
In 2014, I decided to go back to school for my masters in Sustainable Food Systems. The degree would and did help me to expand my father and my goals at Sunnyside, as well as open Sunnyside Farmers’ Market and Community Center (SFM). Towards the end of my first year of grad school, the unexpected happened.
Sunnyside Farmers’ Market was my thesis for grad school. I felt such a business could help improve the lives of folks within the Middle Peninisula community. Therefore, I didn’t just want to create plans for something that may not work. I wanted to actively work on this project.
I planned the first SFM test market for September 2015. I was hopeful other vendors would sign up to attend. Not knowing if they would, I decided to create a booth for myself selling my pound cakes.
Jamie’s Baked Goodies was born!
In the weeks leading up to the first SFM test market, I baked a few test cakes to see how they would turn out, and if folks in the area would be interested in them. One day, while baking at Sunnyside, a customer asked what I was cooking. I responded by handing them a sample.
The customer enjoyed it so much, I decided to hand out samples for the rest of the day, letting them know I would have whole cakes at the upcoming market.
By the day of the first SFM test market, folks were buzzing about my Butter Pound Cake (now known as the Signature Butter Pound Cake). The feeling was surreal. Within two hours of the first test market, I was sold out of cakes and scrambling to make more, as we had several hours left to go. It was one of the best problems I’ve ever had.
I had two more test markets, and sold out of my cakes and pies each time. Customers seemed happy and I was thrilled. The test markets were proving a farmers’ market of this type could be successful within our community, and the dream of the baking business had been revived.
Dreams don’t always happen the way you assume
Never would I have thought me and partner’s dream of a baking business would take so many twists and turns. The business is not named, located, or operating the way we planned, yet it has become quite a staple in our community and fulfilled a portion of our dreams. We still have goals and plans to expand J.B.G and hope to continue to make folks happy with my SIgnature Butter Pound Cakes, Real Fruit Pies, and Handcrafted Cookies.
You can find all of these tasty treats at Sunnyside Grocery and Sunnyside Farmers’ Market and Community Center. Be sure to check out our Facebook Page to find see what’s available weekly and Snapchat to for live updates of my baking.
Have you tried any sweet treats from J.B.G? Comment below on your favorite.