Incubator Kitchen Spotlight Feature: Sweet Batches
Posted on July 24, 2017 by Downtown Market
For many of us, it’s hard to turn our passions into profit. Of course, you probably bring passion to your job, but how often do your hobbies blend with your career? Kelly Battjes, owner of Sweet Batches, has found a way to turn her hobby into a thriving business. What did it take? A salted espresso chocolate shortbread cookie.
As you assumed, Battjes (pronounced "batches") owes her success to more than one cookie, however, one cookie helped pave the way to Sweet Batches baked goods to be sold in coffee shops and other specialty retailers throughout Michigan. Her success started five years ago when she made salted espresso chocolate shortbread cookies using the coffee beans from Madcap Coffee, where her husband, Dave, is the head roaster. After being delighted by the cookies, Dave brought them to his Madcap co-workers as a Christmas gift where they were a huge hit.
“I like things to be well thought out. My baked goods are low ingredient and simple to keep the quality at a level I am satisfied with,” said Battjes.
Being a baker and a business owner wasn’t always Battjes main gig. She started her career as a hair stylist in Seattle but it wasn’t quite for her. One afternoon Battjes was walking through Pike Place Market and she came across a job that was better suited for her at a bakery as a barista. With Battjes natural baking talent, she soon became the head baker and held this position for two years.
Shortly after her son was born, the Battjes family moved back to West Michigan. It is here where the shortbread cookie was gifted and Madcap's owners asked Battjes to sell her delicious creations at the coffee shop.
Selling her goods at Madcap meant that the cookies needed to be made in a commercially licensed kitchen; this step to the success of Sweet Batches is where we had the pleasure of meeting Battjes.
Sweet Batches has now been operating from our Incubator Kitchen for four years.
“I can’t imagine operating anywhere else,” said Battjes regarding our Incubator Kitchen. “The has Incubator Kitchen has the professional-grade equipment, coolers, and storage I need, plus I’ve received promotional help, including catering for Downtown Market events.”
Battjes bakes for a few hours on Saturdays and her husband comes and helps too.
As for the future of Sweet Batches? Battjes said that she has considered producing extracts but isn’t in any hurry to pursue this project. For now, the bubbly, talented owner of Sweet Batches wants to focus mainly on being a mother to her two sons and producing delectable treats for her current retailers.
More about Sweet Batches:
Based out of the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, Sweet Batches is currently offering classic shortbread, salted espresso chocolate shortbread, and a different rotating flavor every month! We also offer "good stuff" granola bars, vegan cookie sandwiches and vegan fudge brownies! We use only MOO-ville Creamery butter, and Madcap Coffee espresso in our products.
You can find Sweet Batches products at Madcap Coffee Company, Ferris Coffee & Nut Company, Squibb Coffee, Lightfast Coffee Bar + Art Collective and The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand in Grand Rapids and at VinBar (Ann Arbor) and Michigan Pantry (Holland).
For wholesale information please contact me at SweetBatchesGR@gmail.com
Check out Sweet Batches’ Facebook and Instagram (@sweetbatches) accounts to see what Battjes is baking!