It all started on the farm about five miles outside of Mifflinburg with a wife and mother with too much creativity to contain. Donita didn't go to culinary school, but literally prayed for the ability to bake and beautifully decorate wedding cakes. The business that formed was Wedding Kake Artistry which she ran out of her home, with 5 daughters running around and a husband who needed dinner at 6:00 on the nose every evening as he came in from the grit of farm work. She took on as many cakes as she could and soon became one of the most sought after wedding cake artists in the Susquehanna Valley. By 1994, she had a full commercial kitchen and was cranking out 3-5 wedding cakes a week. Her kids, known as "Donita's daughters", heard many a praise from teachers and acquaintances about how Mom made a cake for them or someone they knew and how it tasted as good as it looked. "Best wedding cake I ever had!" She also ran a thriving gingerbread business in the winter months, employing several friends and her kids' after-school hours to bake thousands of gingerbread houses for the Christmas season. It was no small operation.
By 2005, Donita started to realize that the art had lost some of its luster and wanted to pursue a new career as a Children's Minister. She went through the apprpriate training and and by 2010 her cake business had slowed though the demand was still high. She hung up the apron thinking that it would be the end of the baking legacy.
Nikki, her youngest, after spending two years on the mission field in Hong Kong with her husband, returned home with no clue what to do with her life. She didn't necessarily want to bake - but she did want to do something to impact her home community, not leaving her missionary heart on the other side of the world. The mother-daughter pair started to dream and brainstorm ideas of what could be done to really address some of the needs Mom saw every day in her work as a pastor. Eventually, the right idea came along.
Inspired by a business model that included housing people facing adversity and then employing them, teaching skills and building character, the pair thought a bakery were be the perfect type of busines to use for that purpose. Since Mifflinburg lacked any traditional bakery and Donita had the skill-set to impart to her daughter, they jumped in with both feet. Nikki went to baking school in Mom's kitchen and spent months learning the nuances of baking and decorating cakes, developing recipes for whoopie pies and bread, and dreaming of how this might all come about. It had to be the right place - a Mifflinburg place - that embodied Mifflinburg's spirit of both hard-work and tradition, while encouraging what Mifflinburg could also become. The vision was really big.
Then there it was - 441 Chestnut Street. The foreclosure had been sitting dead in the water on the market right on the main street running through their town. Historic, solid, dead center in town, and in need a ton of work. Bought it, they did.
Months of rennovating, continuing to learn how to bake, and doing all the business stuff start-ups must do, now we're here. Nikki is the owner and head-baker - but Mom is the key person of influence who is still teaching and decorating when the job is too big for Nikki's experience.
Goodness is our standard - to be full of goodness in everything we do, from the product we sell to our presence in the community. Mifflinburg is a place full of goodness, and we are committed to highlighting it and becoming and avenue for it.