NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley is thrilled to support the Millrace Kitchen, an incubator space designed to support food business startups. Since opening in 2017, over 40 food businesses have worked out of the kitchen space at 40 South Main Street.
In this series, you’ll Meet the Millrace Members, get a sense of what it takes to start a food business and learn of some incredible food and baked goods being made right in downtown Woonsocket.
Tell us about yourself and your business.
My name is Kristany Jaycox and my business is Poppy and Lemon. I make customized royal icing sugar cookies for all types of events! I grew up in Western Massachusetts and like most bakers, had a family where both my mother and my grandmother loved to bake and encouraged my interest to learn. This lead me to working at a small local bakery throughout high school, that specialized in wood fired bread and a variety of pastries and baked goods. I absolutely loved working there (even though the hours were often overnight or early morning!), which lead to my eventual enrollment at Johnson & Wales in Providence in 2009 after high school.
I graduated from JWU in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Baking and Pastry. After graduation, I was incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to work in both front and back of house management positions in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Throughout COVID, like many, my employment hours decreased, so during my new found free time, I began making sugar cookies from home and mailing them to friends and family as gifts to celebrate occasions that we couldn’t spend together. After a short while, I started getting an abundance of requests for cookies for events outside of my inner circle, to the point where I knew it was time to make a move beyond hobby and into to a commercial kitchen. So I took the leap in 2022 and here we are!
What type of food do you make?
As of right now I am only focusing on making customized sugar cookies. I offer multiple flavors of the sugar cookies beyond vanilla, such as lemon, lemon poppy, chocolate chip, double chocolate, toffee, peanut butter, and peanut butter chocolate chip–but the vanilla and lemon/lemon poppyseed are definitely the most popular request! Eventually I would love to provide more offerings over time as the business grows.
How can customers find you?
Customers can currently find my offerings through my website at www.poppyandlemoncc.com or on instagram @poppyandlemoncc. The majority of orders are completely personalized for each client’s event and are placed through the website itself. Leading up to major holidays, you are also able to find some of my holiday themed cookies for sale at Mulberry Vineyards in Chepachet!
What are your food business dreams?
In regards to my food business dreams, many are still geared in the short term, as this is still such a new venture! I hope over the next year to be involved in more community events, whether through farmer’s markets, events at Millrace Kitchen, or connecting with other local businesses who would like to sell my cookies or even use them as edible promotional items! In the long term, I want to keep growing my customer base, and have my cookies continue to be included in my current clients’ family celebrations and holidays! Given the current climate for small businesses, particularly in the food industry, I will feel incredibly fortunate to grow to the point where I have my own kitchen space and am able to expand offerings and make this a full time opportunity.
Interested in starting up your own food business? Need for a baker or caterer for your next event? Looking for a unique space to hold a party?
Visit the Millrace Kitchen to learn more about our offerings.