In the Neighborhood: Jam Bakery
Brief Introduction by CTD: JAM Bakery is elevating our gift-giving game. We have been adding their customized, CTD-logo cookies to our client, vendor and partner gift boxes with huge success. Their cookies are so delicious and creative most people won’t share them when asked (ahem, several architects we know and my children) This innovative and exceedingly creative team has made the most of their quarantine time together and gives us a reason to celebrate everyday events with cookies. Just check out some of their amazing work on Facebook:
JAM Bakery is a small cookie business in La Cañada owned by the Grabel family. Rori and her three children, Amanda, Jordan and Ethan, have worked extremely hard this year to make the community happy with their sweet treats. This endeavour started in December of 2019, when one of Rori’s daughters, Amanda, proposed the idea to start a home-bakery with her mom and two siblings. Growing up, Rori had always baked with her parents and she is now continuing this family activity with her own children. The family had always enjoyed baking together and they found this to be the perfect opportunity to spend more time with each other while doing the thing they love. There is no doubt that this year has been challenging for small businesses, but the Grabels have worked together to try and overcome the challenges of starting a business during very uncertain times.
They initially wanted to specialize in more simple cookies such as drop cookies, chocolate chip cookies and biscottis, but they later expanded their business to sell fun and colorful royal frosting cookies. The family initially struggled with the new technique but after some practice they perfected this new method. Now most of their business consists of their intricately designed royal icing cookies. When commissioning an order they recommend you look at their social media (@j.a.m.bakery on Instagram and @kids who bake on Facebook) for product designs or provide your own from the internet. The small-business is fairly flexible with the customization of you order to make your cookies special and personal to whatever occasion they are for.
This experience has taught this family about teamwork and the value of quality family time. Rori and her two daughters are in charge of the baking, while Ethan is responsible for the financial aspect of the business. The squad usually works together, but when they have a lot of orders, all hands are on deck. The business also gives them something fun to bond over especially during such a tough time. With virtual learning, baking gives the Grabel kids a much needed stress reliever and allows them to take a step back from the chaos of online school. The family has also learned a lot more about Covid safety and the proper precautions that are needed in order to maintain the highest standards of hygiene. Team members hand wash and sanitize countless times during the day. As for the cookies, they are individually heat sealed and packaged in order to reduce excessive contact.
JAM Bakery has also come up with DIY cookie decorating kits to bring the fun home. Their first DIY product is a frosting kit that includes six plain cookies, frosting and toppings. Their second product is their “paint your own cookies” kit. This includes a white frosted cookie with a black outlining of a drawing. The bottom of this cookie has four different dried frostings that can be used as paint when using a wet paint brush. These take home kits are perfect quarantine activities to keep your family and you busy.
The Grabel family is also donating a portion of the proceeds from their sales to the Union Station, which helps individuals and families experiencing homelessness rebuild their lives. It was a pleasure getting to know this family and seeing all the hard work and love that goes into this business. If you have any special occasions coming up, you should definitely consider buying cookies from JAM Bakery to sweeten up your day!