Sun | Jun 16, 2019

Mommy ‘Cookist’ making moves

Published:Saturday | April 20, 2019 | 12:17 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Michelle Bailey prepares dough to make one of her pastry items.

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

They say children have a way of bringing out greatness in their parents, and 24-year-old Michelle Bailey can definitely attest to that.

From perfecting her baking skills to starting a brand inspired by her mini human’, Bailey is on the path to becoming a household name and a bigger contender, even in her own lane.

“I love what I do, which is cake baking and decorating. The name of my business is Cookist Cakes and Pastries, and the name ‘cookist’ was invented by my son. One day when he was about two years old, we were in the kitchen preparing a meal, and he said, ‘mommy you are the greatest cookist in the world,’” Bailey shared with Family and Religion.

With no knowledge of the word ‘chef’ at that age, Bailey thought his terminology was unique and catchy, and so she ran with it.

“I operate a home-based business currently providing a variety of cakes, pastries, and traditional puddings. I started using my talent to bake and decorate cakes as a means of generating additional income for my family,” she said.

As a working mother for the last four years, Bailey said it was always her intention to make sure her son lacks nothing he needs.

SON’S INVOLVEMENT

“After having my son, I waited until he was one year old to start working because I wanted to ensure that we had a strong bond, which seems to be proven even now as he is always there to help with my projects. Jaylen is eager to learn and show off what he has learned while helping me to bake or decorate. I have been doing this for four years, and it won’t stop now,” said Bailey.

FRUIT CAKES

She added: “My busiest day usually starts from as early as 3 a.m., where I would bake and cool fruit cakes, which are my fastest-selling menu item. Over the years of gifting fruitcake to family and friends, I have perfected my recipe, which opened a new opportunity.”

Bailey expressed that it can become overwhelming baking, running errands for her business and tending to the needs of her son. However, she lauded her family for stepping in when it truly counts.

“Managing my time is an absolute essential to ensure that I am always where I am supposed to be, either creating a beautiful cake or at a PTA (Parent Teacher association) meeting for my son. My spouse, Jon, ensures that the schedule is adhered to, and if there are unexpected deviations to the schedule, my mother and mother-in-law, along with my sister, [are] always there to step in and help, she said.

Bailey was once held back by the limiting belief that she had to be perfect and had to have everything to start her business and be a working mom, but she has come to find out that that is a falsity.

“One thing I would tell my younger self is: ‘Just start. You don’t have to have it perfect before starting, and all the resources that you have complained about not having are right at your fingertips. Just be brave and go for it,’” she said.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com