bake - March/April 2020 - 26

"There's nothing better than
your friends and neighbors
coming into the business
and taking as much
pride in it as I do."
ASHLEIGH PEAK, KAT GORDON/MUDDY'S

Kat Gordon, owner and founder, Muddy's Bake Shop

a local business," she says. "It's been mostly word-of-mouth.
There's nothing better than your friends and neighbors coming
into the business and taking as much pride in it as I do."
Community is very important at Muddy's. The support the
bakery received early on was integral to making it through the
first year and beyond.
Despite not having a grand opening for its launch in 2008,
customers streamed through the doors anyway. According
to the bakery, there were far more people than food or staff
available. In true Memphis fashion, friends, family, and total
strangers pitched in by folding bakery boxes, clearing tables,
and even icing cupcakes.
To show its true community spirit, Muddy's tries to pay it
forward by putting its resources towards helping local causes
and fellow local makers thrive.
Experimentation
To develop its products, Kat Gordon and her team workshop in
what they refer to as Mud Lab. This employee-wide company
club routinely gets together to share ideas, test proto-treats,
and consider the elements of a truly delicious bite.
Bakers, retail employees, and even customers can join in on
these meetings. They typically test out at least three new or
updated recipes at a time, and prioritize ideas based on the
be working at least one or two seasons ahead of time.
"Each Mud Lab is a little different, but it's always really fun.
It's great to get everybody's perspective," Gordon says. "You
have the bakers talking about how it's going to be made,
if it's ingredients we already have or do we need to source
something different. Then the retail folks say, 'We think they
(customers) will really be drawn to this look' or 'Here's some
of the questions we get', that kind of thing."
Gordon describes the environment in these sessions as "the
fun parts of middle school." It's a great way for employees
to participate in and feel like an active part of the bakery's
product creation process.

KAT GORDON/MUDDY'S, COLE CREASY

season that they'll be featured. At any one time, the team will

26 < MAR-APR 2020 | bakemag.com

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