Client Spotlight: Casey’s Cookies

Largo, FL:  Casey’s Cookies started in June of 2010 with a mission to train and employ the disabled to bake and sell cookies online.  Casey’s parents founded the company after witnessing first-hand that there were few opportunities beyond high school for physically and developmentally disabled children.  Drawing upon their online business experience they created the 501c3 not-for-profit online company.   Casey’s Cookies now employs an Executive Director, a Kitchen Manager and three disabled young adults, including Casey who has a love for great cookies.  

The founders of Casey’s Cookies want everyone to understand that mentally disabled adults, like all of us, want most to work in an environment that is safe, family oriented, and intellectually stimulating.  Each Casey’s Cookies employee is given a task for the day.  The tasks may be mixing, “scooping” or cleaning the dishes and pans.  What each employee has in common is a sense of pride in their accomplishments.  Carefully screened volunteers work with each disabled adult to be sure all health and safety procedures are followed and they offer a ‘gloved’ hand when needed.196375_197822040249819_1762283_n 26655_487415831290437_1505402524_n198260_197821903583166_4796353_n229937_487415914623762_993410871_n200223_197821983583158_299508_n318112_384607724904582_1469384577_n

Try one of the many flavors Casey’s Cookies has to offer today!

Meet YOUR team: Orlando

Orlando, FL:  Sandra Hamberg began her love of all things food when she graduated with a Hotel and Restaurant Management degree from Michigan State University.  Hamberg moved to Florida where she started working in the theme parks as a Restaurant Manager.  Her focus shifted away from the food industry after receiving her MBA from Rollins College when she began pursuing roles in labor and financial analysis.

 Hamberg is thrilled to be back in the food industry having opened the Orlando Your Pro Kitchen in January 2015.  She is driven to help her clients succeed and build their own businesses.

Client Spotlight: The Mustard Factory

Naples, FL:  Husband and wife, Neil Hastie and Keely Smith started the The Mustard Factory after experimenting in the kitchen with a few ingredients.  It took a few trial and error attempts but soon an obsession to make great tasting mustard formed.  The couple spent over a year trying to come up with the perfect recipe experimenting with different types of mustard seeds and ingredients.  Finally they found the right combinations.  With over 10 amazing mustard flavors there’s a mustard style for everyone’s taste buds.  Each jar packs a big bold flavor and is made one jar at a time with the very best ingredients from trusted suppliers across the USA.

Look for this product online and in stores in the Naples, FL area and surrounding Ft. Myers and Estero areas.

Order a flavored mustard today!

Mustard Keely1 1467233_372850749527950_1355701422_n 10697393_579404295539260_4328014544050791975_o 10830837_611276542352035_4228827809921498014_o

Meet YOUR Team: Owner/Founder

In 2008, Cindy Pickering, Founder and Owner of Your Pro Kitchen developed the first shared kitchen and culinary incubator concept out of need.

When Pickering started her own salsa business, she ran into the same issues that many other “foodpreneures” face.  She needed a commercial kitchen and space for her growing business.  She set out determined to quickly build her own kitchen in order to keep up with the demands of her growing salsa business.  As word spread about Pickering’s fully certified, inspected kitchen other foodpreneures ask to share space in the new area.   They soon began renting.  Pickering’s vision and desire to help others succeed in the food business without the expense and hassle she faced gave her the idea of a shared kitchen concept.  Soon after selling the salsa business, Your Pro Kitchen was developed.  It was the first government inspected and certified kitchen of it’s kind in the area and an opportunity for start up food business owners and budding entrepreneurs.

Pickering’s background in media (Fox Television, NBC Television, Clear Channel Media, Tampa Tribune and NHL team, Tampa Bay Lightning ) has helped her develop the food incubator portion of Your Pro Kitchen.  In addition to helping foodpreneures start a their business, she also aids with marketing tips.  Her background is helpful and often relied upon by clients needing to know how to market their products to retail or wholesale outlets.

As Pickering opened her first kitchen, a 2,000 square feet location in Largo FL, she was faced with expanding  to accommodate the overwhelming response of people in need.  Since 2008, Pickering has expanded the Largo location four times and is now operating a total of 11,500 square feet.  To her surprise some clients were driving four hours away just to use the space.  She then realized the need reached outside of the Tampa/St. Petersburg market.   Catering to that need the Your Pro Kitchen franchise began in early 2012.   The first Your Pro Kitchen franchise was sold in 2012 and opened in Naples, FL in 2013.

To date Pickering has opened six franchises throughout Florida and is working on several more.  Her vision now expands to growing the franchise on a national level.   The steps are already beginning to form on that venture as she prepares to open franchise kitchens in Dallas TX, Akron OH, and Sacramento CA very soon.

Pickering is a mother and grandmother of seven grand children ranging from eighteen-years old to two-years old. She was born and raised on a farm in Brandon, Florida.

Pickering is very active in her community supporting and promoting local business owners.  Your Pro Kitchen is a major sponsor for Keep Saint Pete Local and the Best Buddies program.  Pickering is very passionate and “Pay It Forward” is her motto.  She definitely stands by her belief to help others.

Cindy Pickering taking a moment to pose with volunteer chefs from Casey’s Cookies.
Cindy Caseys Cookies
Cindy Pickering helping the owner of Couerisma with a coconut oil delivery.
Cindy Couerisma

Client Spotlight: Suga’ Plum Sweets

Lutz, FL:   Jennifer Rupe Tontini started Suga’ Plum Sweets in her home kitchen making one batch of fudge at a time. She was inspired by her grandma Suga’ Plum. Suga’ Plum gave Jennifer her first cookbook and came to her aide when she burned herself working from the cookbook on the stove or oven. She taught her that “Life is short; Eat dessert first!”  Jenn like Suga’ Plum always looks for the bright side, always eats dessert and always aim to be thankful for the many blessings she has.  It’s fitting that the company motto is “Taste How Sweet Life Can Be!”

Suga’ Plum Sweets specializes in making what YOU want.  It’s YOUR treat. Your fudge. Your caramels. Your cookies. Your confections, cakes, cupcakes, popcorn, and any other made-to-order divine creation you’d like us to dream up or make to your specifications.

Try Suga’ Plum Sweets best selling “born again fudge” today!

1048683_297832203696280_553353476_o 1173869_329634640516036_509234163_n1238360_334003213412512_1245202804_n942014_284140595065441_257729820_n10686640_607333099412854_5463355533097124529_n