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Mini & Me Desserts: A labor of love

Sheboygan Falls business continues to grow

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June 3, 2024

SHEBOYGAN FALLS – When Jodi Parks decided to leap into entrepreneurship, she said she was looking for a business her whole family could be involved in.

Combining that with her love of baking – Mini & Me Desserts was created.

“We wanted to launch a business that could grow with the family,” she said. “As a family, nothing has brought us closer than baking.”

As a mother of five – two of whom are on the autism spectrum – Parks said baking has always been a family affair.

“I have always been able to connect with my kids while in the kitchen, and baking has truly become a family passion,” she said.

Being a special needs mom, Parks said, has often meant losing jobs due to the frequent appointments and additional needs of her sons. 

Creating her own business, she said, allowed her to set hours around the needs of her children, while also allowing her to follow her passion.

Parks said Mini & Me Desserts was born from two things: a desire to have a steady income and a wish to create a safe space that utilized the whole family’s talents.

Getting started

Parks said Mini & Me started with her and her oldest daughter, Kiersten, making cakes, cookies, cupcakes, cheesecakes and other baked goods on special order.

She said word quickly spread about her bold flavors and imaginative cake designs, and a once-in-home business branched out.

Mini & Me opened a storefront at 1090 Fond du Lac Ave. in Sheboygan Falls in 2021.

“The business got too big for my house,” she said.

The bakery’s claim to fame is its custom cakes – including these cakes resembling R2-D2 and BB8 she made for a recent Star Wars-themed wedding. Submitted Photo

The move, Parks said, coincided with massive growth for the business as the bakery expanded its offerings – including classes for adults and children (which she said attract people from as far away as Green Bay and Milwaukee) and hosting birthday parties and other gatherings. 

Parks said word of mouth and social media can be credited for much of Mini & Me’s growth.

“We do a lot of the allergen-free cakes and word gets around about that,” she said. “Also, by working with the local homeschooling group, those parents interact with parents from other homeschooling groups and word spreads.”

Parks said she frequently posts photos of her finished products online, which again draws attention.

Mini & Me’s storefront, she said, is open for classes, parties and for people to pick up special orders.

Parks said people can call her or message her through Facebook to place special orders.

Getting noticed

Parks was recently recognized by the Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce for Mini & Me’s growth over the last couple of years – receiving a nomination for Entrepreneur of the Year.

“It was amazing to be acknowledged for something I love doing every day,” she said.

Parks said Mini & Me also has a popular catering business – making desserts for weddings, providing baked goods for the Weill Center for the Performing Arts and creating treats for special occasions at area businesses, including Acuity and Johnsonville.

She said the bakery also provides desserts for Local Press Eatery in Sheboygan.

The bakery’s custom cakes, Parks said, are something to behold with a recent Star Wars-themed wedding, for example, featuring cakes resembling R2-D2 and BB8.

“Making the cakes is one way to let my creativity shine,” she said. “Our customized cakes set us apart. It’s what we are best known for. I see cake decorating as a form of art. Putting it all together is a beautiful process.”

Parks said Mini & Me makes a variety of cakes, including ones without dairy, gluten or eggs. “People want cakes that taste good but may have allergies – we want to cater to everyone,” she said.

For holidays, Parks said Mini & Me also puts together special dessert charcuterie boxes that customers can purchase for their loved ones.

The bakery’s recent Mother’s Day dessert charcuterie included chocolate-dipped cheesecake slices on a stick, two peanut butter chocolate cookie cake squares, two chocolate-dipped strawberries, two royal iced cookies and two cheesecake or cake jars. 

Jodie Parks said Mini & Me offers custom desserts for a variety of special occasions, including weddings, birthday parties, bridal showers, family reunions and holiday celebrations. Submitted Photo

Parks said she also enjoys working with community organizations – most recently partnering with a local home-schooling program to offer a baking co-op where students learned about making and decorating cakes and cupcakes.

Mini & Me, she said, has also worked with a Sheboygan Falls school on a fundraiser.

Future expansion?

Parks said Mini & Me could grow even more if she can find a larger home.

Right now, the bakery can host about 15 people per class, which she said fills up quickly.

A larger space, Parks said, would allow her to have dozens of people attend classes.

With more space, she said Mini & Me could also become a true café, offering food and beverages with regular hours. 

“We have a lot of dreams and plans of what we could do with more space,” she said.

Though she isn’t quite sure where the future will take her, Parks said she’s happy to continue sharing her decorating skills with the Northeast Wisconsin community – one cake at a time.

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