It’s vacation time – a time for family and friends and to thank the blessings of the past year.
This is exactly what Richmonder Linda Shaw does – thanking as she earns memories and money with her LindaGrams, a branded Graham cracker cookie she created and now sells. online and at pop-up events.
Ms. Shaw fell in love with baking cookies when she was 12 years old. Since then, she has been preparing treats for family events and to give as gifts to friends.
With the push of her adult children, Ms. Shaw decided to bring her LindaGrams to market. In May, she sold them to the RVA Black Farmers Market and found her delicious treats to be a hit with the public.
Her effort is now a family affair, with the LindaGrams team made up of her husband, Lionel, and three children, Raymond, 41; David, 35 years old; and Maya, 28. Each has a specific task and contributes to the collective effort to bring the product to market. Raymond and Maya are responsible for marketing, branding, packaging design and social media, while David, a chef, oversees the cooking and tasting. Mr. Shaw is the utility actor, doing a bit of everything.
For Ms Shaw, who retired as a human resources administrator four years ago, the growing family business keeps her in touch with her children and blessings, especially after the isolation of nearly two years of the pandemic.
“The cookie industry has grown over the past few months and is more than I expected,” Ms. Shaw said. She said she was surprised at how many people were interested in her LindaGrams. She said the process of starting her own business has been invigorating.
“It’s been a great opportunity because it’s something that I’m passionate about and that I love to do,” said Ms. Shaw.
She reached out to business organizations and other professionals for advice and ideas and applied for business grants as well as food contests to help build the future of her business.
“I’m experimenting with vegan recipes, using pretzels instead of nuts for people with nut allergies, as well as LindaGrams cheesecake,” Ms. Shaw said.
She strives to put Linda-Grams on the shelves of local stores and on the dessert menu of area restaurants. Her business has also picked up as the holidays approach.
She said the past few months have been a wonderful experience for her and her family.
“As we sit down together to bake, wrap or wrap to go to an event, everyone is a slice of the LindaGrams pie. It has been wonderful, ”she said.
“This business is very exciting. Everyone’s support inspired me.