The buzz about ghost kitchens has been circulating for several years inside the restaurant industry. These invisible restaurants choose not to offer customers a retail location to walk into but instead take orders online, produce the meals in a health department-approved commercial kitchen and then deliver them right to the door.
Replicating that same idea – only with baked goods – classically trained pastry chef Abigail Jones launched Abby’s Goodies in January of last year. She has been busy ever since, taking orders online and fulfilling them after hours by baking at Bloom Baking Co. in the City Market, where she used to work as a full-time baker.
A 2017 graduate of the pastry program at Johnson & Wales University in Denver, Colorado, Jones then moved to Kansas City and worked several restaurant jobs, including working for Sarah Darby at Bloom Baking Co. After a year working at the bakery, she knew she wanted to have her own business one day.
“I really loved working at Bloom Baking Co., but I knew I was ready to go out on my own. I wasn’t in a position financially to open my own shop, so I put my plan together and approached Sarah about letting me use her bakery in the evenings to fulfill my orders for my own business,” says Jones. “Thankfully, she said yes.”
From there, Jones signed up for a table at every bridal show she could find to get her cakes, cookies and bars in front of wedding vendors and future brides-to-be. It was a savvy marketing move that paid off, as several brides booked her to do creative dessert tables filled with a variety of treats like cookies, bars and even crème brulee.
“I thought that the wedding business would be a great place to get started, and before the pandemic I would meet brides and grooms for cake or dessert tastings in local coffee shops,” says Jones. “But after COVID-19, I just created an item on my website that is for a wedding consultation, where I now can deliver a box of their choice of four cake flavors, four fillings, all icings and one goodie, or dessert, option to their door to allow them to sample everything at home, then I follow up with a phone call to discuss preferences, prices and dates.”
She has also worked with several local businesses to deliver Friday goodie boxes, which she drops off to be enjoyed by employees or customers as a special treat or to celebrate a birthday or business milestone.
“Each box comes with a couple of different cookies and a specialty bar or two, like my charcoal brownies that are black in color from the dark cocoa powder I use from Savory Spice Shop,” says Jones. “They have a deep, rich chocolate flavor and have become one of my signature desserts.”
Jones also enjoys making wedding cakes and custom special occasion cakes. Her latest creation is a custom birthday cake she calls her galaxy cake, which features an interior with little planets inside, while the icing and fondant work outside looks like a swirling black hole. Another couple saw that cake and like it so much they used it at their wedding.
Although Jones does ask for a few days' notice to execute any baked goodies purchased from her website, she outlines the expectations clearly and calls each customer to go over all of the details.
“Someday I would like to have my own shop where people can come in and I can sell pastries right out of my case,” says Jones. “But I am happy right now with where I am at, and I know I’ll get there one day.”
Abby’s Goodies, abbysgoodies.com