by Angela Rogalski
The Bolivar Bullet
APB Cakes & Cookies has been baking custom cakes and cookies full-time since 2016. Owner Anne-Marie Parker-Brown actually started her business from a necessity that created itself in 2011.
“Today my business is a cottage food operation in Mississippi,” said Parker-Brown. “And, what that means is I’m a home baker who follows guidelines set forth by the state. I bake everything from my house and each and every item I create is baked from scratch. But, I started out in 2011 when Delta Cream Donuts & Cakes closed. They were a tradition here in Cleveland for a long time. And, any birthday cake I ever had growing up came from Delta Cream. My son at the time was three-years-old and up until then he also had Delta Cream for his birthday cakes. But, when they went out of business, there was a definite need in the community for another cake maker. So, I started making cupcakes for my son. And, it began from those cupcakes and it really just grew from there.”
Parker-Brown said that once people saw the baked goods she made for her own child, they began to ask her to make cupcakes, cookies, and cakes for them. And, her business took off.
“And, today it’s a full-time business that has really been just word-of-mouth when it comes to advertising,” she added. “And, really up until July of this year, if you were a cottage food business, you weren’t allowed to advertise online. I could show pictures, but you couldn’t really advertise. I do have an Instagram and TikTok account for my cookies now; I don’t have one for my cakes because I am trying to transition more into cookies than cakes right now. To be honest, I never really expected it to grow into the business it is today, but it has just kept growing into a really exciting and fun operation. And, my cookie business has really grown significantly, which brings me so much joy. The cookies are a really traditional sugar cookie, with homemade icing, but I can create anything at all on them, from flowers to cartoon characters. And, everything I do is free-handed. I even did a set of “Yellowstone” cookies, from the hit TV show, for a customer.”
Parker-Brown does all of the baking herself, with her husband helping out when needed.
“Overtime, my husband has learned to bake anything I have to bake as far as the cakes go. And he can also make all of my icing. He learned all of this in case there was an emergency or something and I needed him to help out.”
And, Christmastime is very busy for her, but she said she is still taking orders for the holidays now. “I usually make around 3,000 cookies at Christmas, it’s like the Super Bowl of the year for me. When I was a little girl, making Christmas cookies with my grandmother was a tradition, so I love making Christmas cookies.”
Parker-Brown also teaches classes at Delta State and to individuals who are interested in learning how to bake cookies and cakes.
“It’s typically women who take my classes, occasionally I have a guy or two,” she said. “But for the most part it’s women who are wanting to do it with their kids or grandchildren and that brings back memories of my grandmother and myself baking together. It’s a great memory. My classes are around the holidays and are usually pretty well booked.”
For more information on APB Cakes & Cookies, visit Parker-Brown’s Instagram page @APBCookies.