Combining a love for cheesecake and strong family dynamic to create a stable future for my children — and tantalizing the taste buds of Madisonites.
In fourth grade my mother introduced me to the art of baking. One Sunday night we decided to make cookies. I wanted to make chocolate chip cookies, but we were out of chocolate chips. So I settled for my mother’s applesauce-walnut cookies. Though the 9-year-old in me grudgingly mixed the applesauce and cinnamon together, the baker in me fell in love.
From then on I was the Cookie Creator of the family (and I made sure to keep the house fully stocked with chocolate chips). Each Christmas, I turned my kitchen into a cookie factory and invited my family to join my staff. No matter our differences, baking always brought us together.
In my early twenties I began to bake with my 4-year-old niece, Callie. She coined the name “Auntie Jill” for me. It seems as though we made hundreds of batches of chocolate chip cookies together and I developed a longing to bake with my own children.
Once I had my girls, I introduced them to my passion. As soon as they could sit up, I had them baking with me on the counter.
In my thirties, I made my first cheesecake. The dessert had become popular in the baking world and I was curious as to what the hype was all about. I had no idea the important role cheesecake would soon have in my life.
As I brought my cheesecake to family gatherings, it seemed like I could turn even a cheesecake-snob into a cheesecake-lover.
Near the end of my thirties, I went through a divorce that left me searching for a back-up plan that I hadn’t yet created.
In 2009, I decided to take my passion and run with it. I created something of my own. Something I could count on. Something I can pass down to my girls so that they don’t have to worry about financial security or their back-up plan. Out of my hardship came Auntie Jill’s.
Today, in between tennis practice and soccer games, my girls and I find time to do what we have come to love. Only now, we’re able to share what we love with others.