I am a huge fan of Kickstarter. I am also a huge fan of cookies. Kickstarter is a great place to help entrepreneurs realize their dreams. I have “kicked in” on quite a few projects over the years but the most recent one is the one that I love the most. And it involves cookies which makes it even better.
I first found out about Reason to Bake and their Kickstarter project through a post on our neighborhood Nextdoor page. Finding out about a local project piqued my interest and when I read what the project was and who was behind Reason to Bake I knew I had to support it.
Carolyn Sampson is a beautiful, charming, exuberant 22 year old girl who has a dream. Her dream is to be a baker. Carolyn and her mom, Elise, are the driving force behind Reason to Bake and their passion for baking is evident in all that they do.
Carolyn has Down Syndrome like my brother in law Carlton and many conventional jobs are just not a good fit. Reason to Bake has two main goals.
- To train and hire intellectually disabled adults as the company grows.
- To provide gluten free cookie options that use quality ingredients and taste good.
Carolyn and Elise have been baking for awhile and decided to focus on cookies. They have been able to use different commercial kitchens to make their creations and are currently renting space in the beautiful Elk Haven Wellness Center located on Elks Club Road in Brevard, NC. The facility is perfect for their business and they are able to maintain a gluten free kitchen to produce their products.
But the best part of this whole story is that I got to spend an afternoon with Carolyn and Elise baking cookies. I was over the moon excited and had been looking forward to meeting them and just spending time with this mother daughter team.
Carolyn greeted me with a hug and it was clear to me that this is a friendship that I am going to cherish. As we talked I was so impressed with their business plan and how hard they have worked to get the business going. The Kickstarter campaign has helped them move to the next level by allowing them to work towards creating packaging that will allow them to ship cookies. Their online presence will be an added bonus as the business grows and reaches its goal of hiring more intellectually disabled adults.
We made one of their most popular cookies –Spicy Ginger—which is a recipe that they have perfected over time. Carolyn was meticulous in measuring her ingredients and the mother and daughter team was just that. A team. It was wonderful to be a small part of that experience for a couple of hours.
As Elise and I chatted I discovered we had a lot in common and a lot of our beliefs are quite similar. As we talked Elise shared how God has been the center of this business from the very start and things have fallen into place, people have showed up to offer help when needed, and a Kickstarter campaign was funded to allow them to go to the next level. I love it when God moments happen and are recognized. On this Tuesday afternoon in the kitchen at Elk Haven Wellness Center I experienced a lot of God moments.
Reason to Bake has their cookies in the following stores:
Food Matters in Brevard, Morganton, and Hickory
French Broad Food Co-op in Asheville
West Village Market in Asheville
Appalachian Coffee Company in Brevard and Hendersonville
Market at 36 (Brevard)
Thompson Store (Saluda)
Upstate Food Co-op (Six Mile, SC)
To say that I am hooked on these cookies is an understatement. I consider myself to be a decent cookie baker but these gluten free cookies have me hooked. Good thing Whistlestop Market is just down the road from me. I am going to be an even more frequent customer thanks to my new found love of Reason to Bake cookies.
Please check out their website and Facebook page by clicking on the links below. When they start their online ordering you will want to be first in line.
My favorite picture of the day has to be this selfie Carolyn and I took. I adore this girl.