Thursday, October 30, 2014

Emo woman baking up ‘Sweet Treats’

She’s a mom. Her name starts with “J.” And she likes to bake.
That’s why Jennifer (Galusha) Marr decided to call her new business “Mamma J’s Sweet Treats.”

The mother of two from Emo recently took the initiative to turn her love of baking into something more.
“I usually do Christmas baking for everyone—my mom, sister, aunts—and I usually give it away as little Christmas gifts,” Marr noted, adding she and her husband were talking one night and he mentioned that she should think about doing something.
“So I thought, why not this? I could see if I could sell my baking,” she recalled.
With Marr currently on maternity leave, the couple decided it was a good time for her to give it a go.
“I made up a [page on Facebook] and we had 100 people ‘like’ it pretty quick,” she enthused.
“I was kind of surprised,” she admitted. “Then people started ordering and it just took off from there.”
Marr already has taken her baking to several vendor markets across the district, as well as the Clover Valley Farmers’ Market and Lowey’s Greenhouse—The Christmas Store.
She also will have tables at both the Emo Legion and the Emo Inn during “Holly Daze” this weekend (she’ll be at the Legion on Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and at the Emo Inn on Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Not only is Marr selling her baking, she’s also taking orders for Christmas trays, as well as half-dozen and one-dozen packages.
“So it’s not just the trays,” she stressed. “If someone really like shortbread or something and would like to have some, I definitely have all those they can order.”
Marr noted she makes a wide variety of treats—everything from sugar cookies and ginger snaps to fudge, butter tarts, and peppermint bark.
The large trays (100 pieces) cost $60 while the small trays (50 pieces) are $40.
The deadline to order is Dec. 18 as she needs time to get everything organized, with a final delivery/pick-up date of Dec. 22.
“I’m super excited about it,” Marr enthused about her new endeavour.
“I get to stay home with my kids. I do some baking and sell it on the weekends,” she said.
“I’m able to get out of the house for a few hours.”
Marr is hoping, however, that her business will become a year-round venture.
“I’m hoping in the New Year that I can find a few businesses where I can put my product,” she remarked, saying she hopes to talk to some people and get her name out there.
“I don’t really want to open up a shop yet until I know if people want it,” she reasoned.
Marr added with the recently idling of the kraft mill and #5 paper machine in Fort Frances, she’s unsure of what people are going to be able to spend.
“I think people are going to be cautious and careful, so I thought I’d just try this for now,” she noted.’
If she could put her baking some place, she’d just keep rotating it, doing some different things each week.
Marr also wants to try baking some different breads and cinnamon buns after Christmas.
“It’s a good time to see if I can make a go of it, if people are interested,” she remarked.
“I think they are. Fresh baking is always so much better than store-bought.
“But at the same time, I need to get my name out there and see what happens. I’m anxious to see.”
Marr also is willing to provide baking and dainties for open houses, meetings, or other functions where some sweet treats are needed.
“I’m doing well so far,” she said, noting she provided the dainties at Rainy River Resources’ recent open house in Emo.
“So far I’m able to keep up on it all,” she added. “I’m getting a lot of help from my mom and sister and husband.
“I’m lucky to be able to do this right now,” Marr admitted. “I have an amazing husband who is so supportive and has encouraged me to do this because I’m shy and don’t always put myself out there.”
Marr has a strong background in the food industry, having worked with Kathy Cuthbertson (Kathy’s Katering) for nine years.
She also has worked in the deli/bakery at Cloverleaf Grocery in Emo for the past three years, as well as always doing plenty of baking at home.
Marr’s business is registered with the Township of Emo, as well as Ontario, and she also is in the process of being approved through the Northwestern Health Unit.
“I’m taking all the steps to get going,” she stressed.
All products are baked in a pet-free, clean kitchen.
To order, visit “Mamma J’s Sweet Treats” on Facebook or call Marr at 482-2379.

More stories