BLACKFOOT—A passion for baking, a handful of blue ribbons from the Eastern Idaho State Fair and a boyfriend who encouraged her to "follow her dreams" has inspired Lisa Jennings of Blackfoot to start her own home-based baking business. She appropriately calls herself (and the business) "Cookie Momster."
Jennings, a graduate of Blackfoot High School, said she has loved baking every since she took home-ec in high school over 20 years ago. She also learned a lot from her mother, Rita Jennings, who is a cook for the Blackfoot School District.
As a young mother of two, Jennings would bake cookies for her children's snacks and for their various activities. She used to travel with her daughter and the Blackfoot High School Marching Band; she would bring bags of cookies for the teens and affectionally became dubbed the "Cookie Mom." A slight modification, made for the whimsical business name—"Cookie Momster."
Jennings, who works part-time as a cashier at Blackfoot Walmart, said she has pondered the idea of starting a baking business for awhile, but it was the advise and encouragement of her boyfriend [Rick Friedel], about two years ago, that really got her going.
"One day he [Friedel] sat down with a pen and paper and wrote down what I needed to do to start a business," she said. "He told me, 'you can do this!' He is my motivating catalyst and support system."
Through "trial and error" and tweaking recipes, Jennings believes she has discovered the secret to making "soft cookies" from scratch, but claims she "is not going to give away her trade secret."
"I used my co-workers and loyal customers at Walmart as guinea pigs for my baked goods," she joked. "Everyone really liked everything that I made."
Jennings said that while her speciality is her "soft in the middle and perfectly crispy on the outside" cookies (of nearly every kind imaginable), she also bakes up just about anything—from cakes and cupcakes—to candies and decadent desserts. Truffles, eclairs, pumpkin rolls, fudge, divinity, cheesecake and brownies are just a few of the homemade treats that she mentioned. With the help of her mother, a master bread maker, Jennings can also take orders for bread, dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls.
Jennings, who herself is gluten intolerant, said she offers an array of gluten free, sugar free and dairy free treats as well.
Cookie Momster will create holiday gift baskets and deliver within a 30 mile radius of Blackfoot.
Jennings said that with the help of social media and "word of mouth" that Cookie Momster is taking off nicely. She hopes to someday open up her own bakery outside of her home.
For more information on Cookie Momster, find her on Facebook at: facebook.com/thecookiemomsterljstyle; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org  or call: 380-1641.