If she wasn’t before, Flowery Branch-based cake and cookie maker Mary Wieland is certainly a Braves fan these days! Wieland’s from-scratch, sweet creations at her Vanilla Villian home-based bakery recently caught the attention of some folks at Truist Park in Smyrna.
Mary was asked to bake cookies for Game 3 of the 2021 World Series, the first Atlanta home World Series game since 1999.
And she said no.
Prior to Friday night’s Game 3, the last time the Braves won a home game in the World Series was the series clinching Game 6 of the 1995 fall classic against the Cleveland Indians. So, this offer is not one that comes around every day.
I was able to ask Mary some questions about her big league experience in an exclusive interview for the North Gwinnett Voice. Here is a bit of our conversation. Read on to find out the rest of the story!
NGV: How were you asked to bake these cookies?
Wieland: “I received an email out of the blue on Tuesday, Oct. 26. The email requested 1,500 World Series cookies. I knew that the World Series had already started, so I had a feeling the turnaround time would have to be pretty quick. I exchanged a few emails asking for more information and found out that they wanted them by Friday, Oct. 29. My bakery is a cottage licensed home-based business, so I don’t have multiple ovens, large storage areas, automated processes, or employees. It’s just me and my love for baking. I declined the order and wished them luck in the World Series. The next day, I got another email asking if I could do just 60 for each Atlanta game on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.”
NGV: Who booked you, and who were the cookies for?
Wieland: “The hospitality division at Truist Park. They are in charge of food services and catering. They were for VIPs in the suites at Truist Park.”
NGV: How did you feel booking the gig?
Wieland: “At first I thought it was a joke or a scam. Who gets an email just randomly for an order for one of the biggest sporting events of the year? Once I realized this was a legitimate request, I wondered how they found me and was surprised they would want to work with someone they’ve never even placed a regular order from. I asked how they found me and my contact Pete told me Barrett’s Baked Goods in Buford had recommended me. I was shocked that with that recommendation and my portfolio on social media, I got the order. I’m extremely grateful to Barrett’s for passing my information along. I felt almost every emotion from shock, amazed, proud, nervous, confident, excited, and fearful. It was overwhelming at times, but I knew I had to focus. This type of order felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity that I had to take. I didn’t feel bad initially telling them no to 1,500 cookies because I knew it was just not possible in the time given. I could have done it with about 6-8 weeks notice, but not two days. When they came back with a more feasible quantity, I couldn’t say no.”
NGV: Is this your first “big league” job?
Wieland: “This isn’t the biggest order I’ve ever booked, but it’s definitely the highest profile order. I’ve done several large private corporation orders and Christmas parties, but this is the World Series! It’s a tough one to beat.”
NGV: How many cookies did you have to bake?
Wieland: “Overall, they ordered 180 total.”
NGV: Did you create the designs, or were you asked to use a certain one?
Wieland: “I was given the logos they wanted used. They only asked for a mix of two logos; one for the Braves and one for the World Series. Given more notice for the order, I would have loved to have some time to create some custom designs to incorporate as well.”
NGV: Did you get to meet any of the players or see any of the game?
Wieland: “Unfortunately, no. I made delivery to the loading dock of the stadium for all three game day orders early in the afternoon on Friday.”
NGV: Did you get any feedback about the cookies?
Wieland: “Aside from the appreciation they showed at delivery, I have not heard anything else. I hope to hear something next week once the Braves win — hopefully in Game 5 tonight!”
NGV: Anything you’d like our readers to know about you, your business or this experience?
Wieland: “I officially started my bakery two years ago, so I’m still growing my business while working a separate full-time day job. Most of my business comes from referrals and repeat customers. I’m so happy when someone decides to have me create something beautiful and delicious for their special event, but it means even more when they come back over and over again or send their neighbors, friends and family my way, too. I really do have the best customers ever!”
For those superstitious sports fans, Mary may need to fire up her oven again; VIP Braves fans have enjoyed Mary’s cookies during Games 3 and 4, celebrating two consecutive Braves’ wins at home. Fans are hoping the Atlanta team will clinch the World Series title in tonight’s Game 5, as the best-of-seven game series currently has the Braves leading 3-1.
For more information about Mary and her business, visit https://vanilla-villain.square.site.