REGION — Many local, home-based makers have been experiencing a steady flow of business during the pandemic with surges during the holidays and the upcoming Valentine’s Day.

The assortment Valentine’s Day box offered by baker Meg Brown who run’s Meg’s Sweets Bakery out of her home at 158 Middle Street in Farmington. The box includes chocolate covered strawberries, brownies, a chocolate mousse cup and a chocolate cheesecake stuffed chocolate taco. Photo Courtesy of Meg’s Sweets

Megan Brown who runs Meg’s Sweets bakery out of her home at 158 Middle St. in Farmington said that she posted a Valentine’s Day special on her social media accounts and was instantly flooded with orders.

“I was going to leave it open for a few weeks for people to order and basically in an hour and a half, I had hundreds of people messaging me. It was insane,” Brown said as she stood behind her wiped out bakery case late in the afternoon last Friday.

Brown had listed an assortment box for $25 that included chocolate covered strawberries, brownies, a chocolate mousse cup and a chocolate cheesecake stuffed chocolate taco. Even as she described the decadent treats, a customer entered the bakery asking to be put on a waiting list for a Valentine’s box.

Rhonda Couture who operates the bakery More Than a Cookie out of her home in Livermore reported the same influx of business with her Valentine’s Day custom orders maxed out. Couture offers specialty shaped and decorated sugar cookies and has been busy working on heart-shaped orders.

Ann-Marie Comeau who also operates a cookie business, Heartfelt Cookies LLC, out of her home in Farmington said that she is experiencing steady business too.

“When this pandemic started I thought, ‘oh gosh, everybody’s home baking, nobody is going to want cookies, because flour and sugar was going off the shelves, everyone was home baking. But my sales increased,” she said during a phone interview.

An assortment of heart shaped cookies from Ann-Marie Comeau who operates her home-based bakery Heartfelt Cookies LLC in Farmington. Photo courtesy of Ann-Marie Comeau

Comeau offers custom-made gluten free, sugar free, keto and vegan cookies alongside traditional flour and sugar recipes. For Valentine’s Day, she’s baking a large heart-shaped cookie of a customer’s flavor choice or several small, heart-shaped cookies for $25.

Even Jamie Brown who resides in Norway has been making delivery runs to Franklin County for her hot chocolate bomb and white chocolate lollipop business that she launched in November.

“I make delicious hot chocolate bombs from Toll House milk chocolate, chocolate chips. Filled with Swiss Miss hot chocolate mix and jiffy marshmallows! If you enjoy peppermint I add a spoon full of crushed peppermint!” Jamie Brown said in an email.

By utilizing Facebook community groups for free advertising like many of these home-based bakers, Jamie Brown said that her micro-business has been very successful so far. Customers can also place orders by emailing her at [email protected]

Crafter LeiLani Schroeder-Davies of Industry has been posting items such as her Box of Flowers and custom cards on the Facebook group Franklin County Sell, Swap, Barter and Create.

“The Box of Flowers – is a cardboard box that I make that explodes opening up the 4 sides to expose a variety of paper flowers that I have hand made inside of it. The boxes are themed for holidays, birthdays…and I have had a request for one for a Cancer Survivor,” Schroeder-Davies said in an email. “I have a variety of cards that are all custom made that when you give it to that special person they will want to keep it.”

She also posts items on her own craft Facebook page Loose Moose Design and sells some of her items at Vera’s Iron and Vine in Farmington.

Industry resident LeiLani Schroeder-Davies runs her micro-craft business Loose Moose Design out of her home and offers items such as custom made cards and the box of flowers as pictured. Photo courtesy of LeiLani Schroeder-Davies

While word of mouth continues to be her best promoter, Schroeder-Davies said that Facebook is starting to pay off as well in a year of canceled craft shows.

“Honestly my business has been great since the pandemic and orders have been coming in steadily,” Schroeder-Davies wrote. “I do hope that I can get to attend a few craft shows this year but none have been confirmed as of yet.”


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