The night before my bat mitzvah, our family hosted Shabbat dinner at our home for our out of town family. My Aunt Sally and Uncle Ed, who traveled from Phoenix to be with us, arrived with Sally’s fabulous challah, unlike any we had ever tasted. Aunt Sally promised to send the recipe, and, just a few days later, it arrived, in her beautiful handwriting, on aqua stationery. My mother still has that well-worn original in her purple shoebox, home of so many of the recipes from my childhood. I made the challah the following Friday night, and have been making it ever since.
“You should go into business making and selling this challah — it’s fantastic!” — my friends and colleagues told me. But a career, a husband and two sons intervened, and my challah baking was pretty much confined to family Shabbat dinners and holidays.
And then there was the granola. My sister served it, and I couldn’t believe that it was homemade. She was happy to share the recipe with me. I tweaked it a little, and started bringing a cup or so to work every day as a snack. Before long, people started coming by my desk with their unadulterated yogurt, asking sheepishly if I could spare a little granola to help out their naked yogurt. Pretty soon, I was bringing it to the office in three-pound bags.
In the late summer of 2010, I finally had the opportunity to take these products, and a couple of others, to begin a business. The people at Sweet Corner, in Needham Center, liked what I was producing. They have been extremely supportive and have worked with me to see how their customers would respond. Before the end of August, I had over 30 orders for challahs for Rosh Hashanah, and Susie’s Baking was born.