Molly Cake is not new to Burlington. Owner Christine McLaughlin had her storefront at the corner of Upper Middle and Sutton in the Orchard. But as all businesses do, Molly Cake grew and McLaughlin decided to move her business to the beautiful downtown community.
After moving last year there have been there have been challenges. Their building on the corner of Brant and Pine was, for 30 years a bakery. Their customer base is now Molly Cake’s customer base. McLaughlin commented on the importance of taking over a group of customers. She is trying her best to give this group what they want.
“If you’re not trying to do anything different, what’s the point in doing it?” she said. McLaughlin scratch makes everything she uses, and uses the best of the best ingredients. There are no substitutes, additives or preservatives.
“When we need to use vanilla for example, we used real vanilla bean paste,” said McLaughlin. “We don’t use imitation anything, or preservatives or additives. Everything is real, fresh ingredients, so everything has a short shelf life.”
Molly Cake, as well as making some fantastic cakes has the cookie. McLaughlin says that this is the best chocolate chip cookie you will ever have. She was very scientific about how she came to this conclusion. Prior to opening her storefront in 2012 she found 17 different chocolate chip cookie recipes and used her existing customers to decide which the best was.
“I made batches of each recipe and farmed them out to my customers. They had to judge them based upon a list of criteria,” she said. Some of that criteria included dunkability (the most important in my opinion), texture and aftertaste. So after getting response, it had been narrowed to 4. On the first 4 weekends she was open she baked one batch of each and had people judge them. Still, she was only able to narrow it down to 3. So on the 5th weekend McLaughlin made mini batches of each cookie and had everyone who came in vote.
And thus, the cookie was chosen.
All of what McLaughlin does requires skill and practice. She is a graduate of Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary arts, and believes that you can never stop learning. For anyone starting a business she says that it is important to learn how to do things efficiently, otherwise you aren’t getting your return on investment.
“It’s so important” said McLaughlin of her training. “I learned a lot before I started and am still learning today. It helps do more for my customers.” Prior to McLaughlin opening Molly Cake she was a full time mom.
When McLaughlin was pregnant with her first, she and her husband decided they liked the name Molly. But they had their son Nathaniel instead. Then when number 2 came, McLaughlin recalls her decision on the name.
“Two weeks before my daughter Lillian was born, my husband and I decided that we weren’t going to name her Molly. Now I have Nathaniel, Lillian and Molly; she’s part of the family.”
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