Natalie Ripperger of Mimi’s Oven Creations.

 

This article is part of our small business spotlight series.

Stuck at home? Looking to make that special day for that special person extra special? Look no further than Mimi's Oven Creations: a sensational cure for the COVID-19 blues.

Natalie Ripperger, “Mimi,” is a self-made baker specializing in mouth-watering, delectable delights. Custom cakes, decorated sugar cookies, a variety of desserts, breads, coffee cakes, cinnamon rolls, scones, and muffins are in Mimi's arsenal of baked goods. If it is not listed, one need only ask.

A lifelong resident of Franklin County, Ripperger has always had a passion for baking and mastered her craft baking for her family and friends.
A supportive family “highly encouraged” her new venture, “…as all of our waistlines were showing the effects of all the goodies I was baking,” said Ripperger.

Her skills mastered, she and her family felt it was time to showcase her creations at their youngest son's wedding. The seed for Mimi's was planted when she was asked, by many, if she baked for weddings.

Her daughter, Emily Whalbring, took the marketing reins by developing her logo and online presence. On Oct 31, 2018, Mimi's Oven Creations went live on Facebook. In less than a year, she had enough business to turn her "hobby" into a fulltime job.

Ripperger's prior accounting position, BS in management and the seed planted at her son's wedding were the ingredients needed for a segue to Mimi's Oven Creations.

Ripperger recalls a time, not so long ago, where “Being an empty nester, I started to think maybe baking for others could be my new 'hobby.' I never dreamed that I would be able to turn this hobby into a full-time job. I am a very conservative person, so starting a business of my own has been a big deal for me. There has been a lot of trial and error, but I am very proud of how far I have come in 2 years. I still wake up and pinch myself sometimes.”
Let this be a testament to those dreams you may need to dust off.

Ripperger recalls her greatest moment in her journey, “…when my husband and sons came together and finished building my second kitchen, which allowed me to be licensed and turn this ‘hobby’ into a full-time job. Another great moment was when I made my first 3-tiered cake and successfully transported it to Sunman, still intact!”

Likewise, her greatest challenge has been when she must tell customers she is booked and unable to accommodate their requests.

“I am so humbled by all of the people that ask me to make their treats for their special occasions and are disappointed when I tell them I can't,” said Ripperger.

The obvious question would be, Are expansion plans in Mimi's future? To that, Ripperger referred to her experience as an accountant and her firsthand knowledge of the challenges of the food business.

“I have a great little thing going on here, and I plan to keep it small and simple.”

Her idea of expansion and keeping it simple, is to recruit her mom and niece on large orders.

Ripperger bakes on a preorder basis from her custom home kitchen. Mimi's serves residents in neighboring counties in Indiana and Ohio as well as Coffee Off Main in Brookville. When asked about her customer base, Ripperger reports that about 75 percent of her customers are repeat customers, which speaks volumes of her professionalism.

Firsthand sampling of Mimi's creations can be found at Coffee Off Main to go with that cup-a-joe. Once you have sampled Mimi's creations and decided for yourself you want to make that special day, extra special, you can contact Ripperger at (765) 698-6326, through Facebook, Instagram, or you can also find Mimi's on Google. Ripperger suggests orders be placed as far in advance as possible as Mimi's is usually booked one month in advance.

So, go for a stroll through Mimi's Oven Creations Facebook page where you can see and hear the touch of love added to each creation for the benefit of each special person on their special day.