Christy Haskell has more on her plate than a few cookies. Since she started her at-home baking business, The Sugar'd Gnome, she's been a full-time homemaker and part-time baker. Haskell, also a prenursing student, came up with the idea of starting her own baking business as a way to contribute to her family financially. Once her husband and three children were on board, Haskell hired a local marketing firm to create her website and help increase sales and visibility. At the beginning of October, Haskell began baking for profit and has seen her business grow in that short time. She offers pick-ups and deliveries, and custom orders are welcomed. Haskell recently took the time to sit down with the CN&R to discuss how her Scandinavian heritage and age-old recipes make her sweets the sweetest. You can find The Sugar'd Gnome on Facebook, Instagram or at thesugaredgnome.com.
What is a sugared gnome?
It's like the garden gnome. They originate from northern Europe and they are usually the guardians of the home. He lives in either the barn or the homestead and protects the people who live there. When I started thinking about names, I wanted something to do with baking and my ancestors in Scandinavia. So I came up with “gnome,” and I say that the garden gnome protects the people, and the sugared gnome protects the sweet tooth.
Where do you get your recipes?
Most of them are passed down in my family, from my grandmother back in the early 1900s. My mother's side of the family was full of great bakers. All my life, I have been baking. Now, even though I've got the tried-and-true recipes, I can still be extremely creative and add my own touch to everything. I hope that my recipes help me stand out amongst the other talented bakers here.
What gave you the idea for starting your business?
A friend of mine had asked me to make their wedding cake a few years ago. That was the first big thing that I did. Soon, friends came to me asking for different things, and I started realizing that I could do this! Now, I'm getting orders all the time, and I've recently gotten the opportunity to bake for the Wings of Eagles fundraiser. I'm making jars full of dry ingredients for cookies and all you have to add is butter and egg. It's very fun and exciting, and I love it!
Have you always been this excited about baking?
Oh, yes. Ever since I was a kid, I bake when I'm happy, I bake as a stress reliever, I bake whenever I can! Whenever I get to bake now, I love how happy it makes the customers when they receive their goodies. It makes me feel great to be doing what I'm doing, and that is the best.