I started cooking at my mother’s knee, literally as I was only three years old. I have a framed black and white photograph of me at age 3 standing on a stool in our Berkeley, California kitchen, wearing a little apron frying chicken. Two electric fry pans were under my command, and I was calmly turning the pieces with a pair of tongs, looking very serious.
I always enjoyed cooking but especially loved being in the kitchen with my grandmother in Atlanta, who we affectionately called “Munner”. Munner was a traditional Southern cook who made everything from scratch, and taught me to bake and cook with my heart and soul. I graduated from Princeton University with a degree in English Language and Literature, but I always missed having a big kitchen and having the time to bake and cook every day. After college I was still unsure of what I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t have the training to be a chef or baker, and since my dad was a lawyer, I thought maybe law school might be the answer. I enrolled at the University of Michigan Law School and off to Ann Arbor I went. My parents were delighted to have me closer to home AND pursuing a career with which I could actually support myself. After law school, it didn’t take me long to realize that practicing law was not for me. I enjoyed bringing cookies and other homemade treats into the office more than I liked actually being in the office.
While in Ann Arbor I met my future husband, Charlie; we got married in 1999. Over the years, my husband and I— and our two little beagles, Freckle and Blue— moved all over New Jersey. We eventually added two new puppies, Snicker and Doodle to our little family. We named our home The Fat Beagle Farm. I continued to bake prolifically, and even though everyone always seemed to love my creations and encouraged me to start a business, I was still not ready to make the jump to anything beyond bake sales and gift baskets. So, I just kept baking for fun to make anyone and everyone I knew or met smile and say YUM.
In 2014, my second oldest beagle, Blue, passed away at the age of 14. I was not prepared, however, for the shock and sadness of losing a beloved pet. It made me realize that Blue had lived every day of her 14 amazing years with the sole purpose of giving me love, comfort and abounding happiness. The only things she ever wanted from us (besides the occasional treat and daily belly-rub) was to reciprocate — love, comfort and happiness, every day and every night. It occurred to me that this was the same thing I was always shooting for when I baked. It was devastating to lose a loved one, however it made me realize how fulfilling just making people happy with my baking was to me. This made me even more passionate about my baking. I realized that life is far too short to squander or limit my baking ambition. If you can do what you love each and every-day AND make people around you feel love, comfort and happiness at the same time — what could be better?
In 2015, after about 40 years of pushing and prodding from my family and friends, I decided to take the plunge and try to be more than just a crazy-baking-beagle-mom. At the time my oldest beagle, Freckle, was almost 16. Sadly, Freckle departed this world about 10 days after her 16th birthday (April, 2016) to join Blue at the Fat Beagle Farm in the sky. I thought it only fitting that I name the bakery after my first two AMAZING girls to honor the passion and energy they put into making me feel loved and happy every single day of their lives.
And the Blue Freckle Bakery was born.