Bailey Cooper is #MadeForKnoxville.
Through her farm-to-table baking business, Bailey has built a life that allows her to celebrate the little things. Now, she hopes to inspire others to live a happier and more sustainable lifestyle.
Before the pandemic, Treats & Chill was just a dream. Bailey was using her baking hobby to relieve stress while working towards a Psychology degree. She began fulfilling orders for customers and delivering sweet treats to their door steps, spreading happiness wherever she went. After being encouraged by her parents–both entrepreneurs–Bailey took the leap to pursue her own dreams. She chose Knoxville as the perfect place to start her one-acre homestead and now aims to provide only the freshest ingredients in her baked goods.
Since the beginning, Bailey’s family has been central to her business. With her mom’s allergies in mind, she decided that Treats & Chill would specialize in dairy-free and gluten-free sweets. As she builds a life that she loves, Bailey is focusing on two goals: to increase access to organic ingredients and “celebrate the little things” with people near and far.
“Some of the scariest moments of my business ended up being some of the most amazing experiences.”
In Their Own Words…
My journey started while I was still working as an Art Therapist, pursuing a degree in Psychology. Every day I stressed more about my job, more baked goods appeared in my home. My mother is severely allergic to dairy, and one Christmas dinner the only thing she could eat were blueberries, which inspired my completely dairy and gluten free specialty. It took my parents sitting me down and telling me I could pursue food as a career that I ever gave it any thought. I got a job baking for an ice cream company, and they really took me under their wing, until the pandemic happened. T&C’s journey began during Covid in my hometown, where I began selling cookies from my apartment to make ends meet. T&C started to take on a life of its own and before I could really wrap my head around it I began selling out at farmers markets and preparing for my next investment as a business. It was that moment I decided I wanted to pursue a farm-to-table approach with the desserts I made, and fell in love with Tennessee. I moved myself and my business out here to completely start anew, building from the ground up something I could feel passionate about every day, and possibly create a legacy to pass down as well. My family decided to follow me out here and my small business is slowly becoming a family-run operation. Something that is a huge blessing to me. The dream is to create a well rounded farm to table experience, where we can enjoy the sweeter things in life with raw, organic, and natural ingredients. Everything I make is dairy and gluten free, with several vegan options during every season. My motto is to celebrate the little things in life; it has caused me to slow down and truly appreciate the life I live and what I’m creating.
What led to entrepreneurship:
I was raised by two small business owners, so they always encouraged me to work towards my own dreams rather than someone else’s. However, my pivotal moment didn’t come until my hometown went into strict lockdowns for Covid. At that point I was in my early twenties living paycheck to paycheck in a tiny apartment. I had no idea where my next paycheck was going to come from. I had nothing to lose really in that moment, so I built a website, started an Instagram, and baked weekly batches of cookies to drop off on people’s doorsteps. People would order ahead and leave the money under their doormat and I would replace the money with cookies. I felt a bit like the tooth fairy in those moments. That was the moment I realized it was even possible to pursue a lifestyle and dream of being an entrepreneur.
The biggest lessons I’ve learned probably fall in line with just getting out there and starting. Some of the scariest moments of my business ended up being some of the most amazing experiences that made me grow as a person. When I moved to Tennessee, I began to pursue as debt-free of a life and business as I could possibly manage. While that means my business grows at a smaller rate, it also means every customer I meet I can create a long lasting relationship with. I can put my heart and soul into every corner of T&C, and make as many mistakes as I can before investors or loans ever get involved. That has been my favorite aspect of running my business and my biggest piece of advice to any new small business owner I meet.
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