After fulfilling years of requests from her family and friends to bake cookies and other goods for their events, Tracy Spyker was struck with a realization. Her baking could grow into more than just a hobby – it could be a livelihood. She accumulated many helpful connections and relationships while operating her own daycare, selling crafts at shows, and merchandising for Excell Marketing. With a little motivation, a dash of self-sufficiency, and one home-bakery license, TJS Cookies was born.
TJS Cookies is a bakery for any and all occasions, serving delicious cookies, cakes and cupcakes to the community for over 20 years. There is no brick-and-mortar shop to visit; instead, treats are made to order year-round with love and care from Spyker’s home. As such, she’s utilized social media, phone calls, texting, and word-of-mouth to reach her consumer base with great success. There are other obstacles in running a business out of one’s home, such as being available to hand off finished orders to customers at any hour of the day. With some ingenious application of coolers and designated space in her garage, however, Spyker has been able to ensure that customers can pick up their goodies without the need to coordinate schedules or come to the front door, even during peak seasons like Christmas. Having a system like this already in place also made TJS Cookies more resilient throughout the pandemic than businesses that require personal contact.
Despite the challenges of running a home bakery, Spyker says working out of her own house is an enjoyable experience overall. Having total control over her hours and working space means that she gets to decide what time is best to do her baking – whether that’s 5 a.m. or 11 p.m. That flexibility is invaluable. It also allows her to put every last inch of counter space to good use fulfilling every request she receives. Still, with continued business growth year after year, Spyker admits she’d love to secure a storefront in the near future to expand the operation even further. And, she urges the public to shop local and support small business owners.
“We care about our customers and know their stories,” said Spyker. “Most importantly, we contribute to the local economy and give back to the community.”
Spyker enjoys giving customers a personal experience. Hearing how her cookies and cakes improved someone’s day or event is what makes her the most passionate about what she does.