The sweet scent of kindness: Picayune women form co-op.
Published 7:00 am Tuesday, August 23, 2016
On July 16, five stay-at-home mothers, with an intent to throw “kindness around like confetti” opened The B.A.K.E. Project in Picayune.
For several years, Brooke Rester, Colbi Moeller, Brandi Pierce, Katy Smith and Kimberly Kirby baked, monogramed and designed home décor from their homes.
However, once they decided to pool their resources together, they discovered they could “make a living while making an impact,” Rester said.
Rester, who thought of starting a co-op a few years ago, said she talked to Smith about opening a store front this past spring.
“It’s such a big leap,” she said.
Rester explained that a co-op is a group of business owners who share a common location’s rent and utilities.
Rester, Moeller and Smith are bakers and own Dolce Bakeshop, Confetti and Katycake, respectively.
Pierce is the owner of Initially Southern monogramming and Kirby owns Kimberly Kirby designs.
“We each have something to bring to the table,” Pierce said.
Pierce monograms jewelry, clothes and more. She also makes custom cake and cupcake toppers.
Kirby designs custom wreaths, floral arrangements and party décor.
They are hoping The B.A.K.E. Project will become “a one-stop party shop.”
Not only do the women bake and create items to support their families, they also give back to the community.
B.A.K.E. stands for building a kinder environment and Rester said she thought, “it would be neat to use their businesses and talents to promote positivity and inspire others.”
“There’s so much negativity in today’s world,” she said.
There are 16 children between the five mothers and Moeller said it’s important their children see the women working together.
The bakers have donated many of their goods to the high school, the police department and hospital, Moeller said.
One of their biggest fundraising efforts was to help the Grice family of Picayune during “Blake’s Fight is My Fight,” a black tie gala.
The B.A.K.E. Project provided cupcakes, floral arrangements and served food, Rester said.
During the past two months, they have adopted Bedford Care in Picayune and donate large birthday cakes for residents. They have also donated items for Relay For Life events and have several others coming up, Rester said.
Kirby donates her items to organizations to raffle off and raise money.
“Our goal is to build a kinder environment, that’s what I wanted to do,” Rester said. “I think our community needs that.”
During the week, the women work on custom orders either received the previous Saturday or via Facebook.
Moeller said Saturdays spent at The B.A.K.E. Project have become “a new tradition for a lot of families.”
“We’ve sold out almost every weekend,” Rester said.
However, the ladies said they “share the load of the business.”
“One of my favorite quotes is ‘We rise by lifting others,’’’ Moeller said. “That’s what we want to be about.”
Smith said it’s been a dream and almost perfect working together.
“It’s two-part,” she said. “There’s the building and then all the good deeds we get to do behind the scenes that make it so much more fun. We are grateful to the community for all their support, it’s been a blast so far.”
The B.A.K.E. Project is located at 321 N. Curran St. The gift shop is open on Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The bakery and gift shop are open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information and to special order items, contact staff through Facebook at The B.A.K.E. Project.