GARDEN CITY, IDAHO — Everyone loves a good success story, especially when it comes to local small town businesses, and one bakery in Garden City has just that. For this week's Made in Idaho, we take you to Wildflour Bakery.
Mary Cogswell has been baking for most of her life, working in a few different bakeries since when she was basically a kid. At 22 years old, she took a leap into starting her own small business after renting a home in Boise's North End.
"It looked like there was the possibility to have a commercial kitchen there so I started a 100-square foot little porch kitchen, got certified by the health department. I think they thought I was gonna be closed in 10-minutes so they're like "'Ok honey, you can do this!"' said Cogswell.
For over 20 years and through a few different garages, Cogswell sold her Wildflour Bakery products primarily through the Boise Co-op locations, and finally was able to build and move into her own non-garage bakery in 2016.
"Took me 26 years to get out of the garage so, I've been saving!" said Cogswell.
And things have drastically changed for Cogswell since moving out of the garage and into the new Wildflour bakery. They're baking more items, brewing up Flying M coffee and coffee drinks, and serving as a community hang-out spot every morning.
"We have kids, we're full of kids in the morning getting dropped off, having hot cocoa and stuff like that. So we're a little neighborhood spot," said Cogswell.
Wildflour makes and sells all kinds of pastries and desserts, but there's one specific cookie that dominates her sales regularly...and is also my absolute favorite cookie in the world.
"I'd say the salted chocolate chip, I joke that those are going to send my kids to college because we sell so many of those," said Cogswell.
Cogswell's dream began in 1992 in her garage by herself, and has turned into a huge success story in a beautiful bakery with nearly a dozen employees.
"To be able to start with such a small amount of money, get this thing rolling, turn this thing into something successful, and I'm able to pay my employees well, and that's a huge thing to me. Everybody's working hard that they should be paid well and have a good place to work. I pride myself on my people stay for a long time. I have employees that have been here six, seven, eight years," said Cogswell.
And she's more than happy that Wildflour Bakery all began in the city she grew up wit the community that she loves.
"I just think I'm super grateful that I've been able to do this for as long as I have, that I have such nice employees, and that Boise's just kind of embraced me and continues so that I'm not so old school that people are still interested in buying my stuff, they're not sick of it yet," said Cogswell.
Sick of it?! Not a chance.