Throughout my childhood, my parents owned several French bakeries and cafes in Virginia, so I literally grew up in this industry. I will never forget the very first time my mother let me take care of a customer all by myself. Pretty sure, I found my calling that day! I would eventually take over running the front of house but in the mornings, before school, I would make all the pastries for the day; muffins, cinnamon rolls, etc. My dad baked all the breads. Some of my fondest memories of him are me waking up at the crack of dawn to roll out baguettes with him while jamming to oldies. My mother and sister did all the tarts, cakes and well everything. My older brother handled the café side making all of the sandwiches and salads. It was really something special. Every inch of it was done by my parents; from laying the hardwood floors to my mom staying up all night and hand-painting every table in the café, to the flower bed outside. But we were ahead of our time. This was before popular cooking shows, networks dedicated to food or even social media, so there was often a lack of appreciation for what we offered, given their European origins . Items and dishes that are so commonplace now, weren't understood back then. We eventually closed the last one when I was 14 and moved back to New York. My father later passed and my mom teaches a Culinary Arts program in High School she herself designed.
In the summer of 2018, my entire family and I were fortunate enough to spend three weeks in Europe. This trip proved to be life-changing for me. Not only being in Paris but actually spending time in a Parisian bakery and making bread and croissants just like I did with my parents reignited a long-standing desire of mine; open my own bakery. So, within a week of returning home, I resigned. I talked at length with my mom about my vision, goals and dreams. She then sent me all of our original family recipes from the bakery. It was over 22 years old. Handwritten by my mom, dad, sister and myself and still covered in flour. So, I began practicing. A lot. So many mistakes! I was rusty lol. But then things started to click. And then... Miya’s Munchies was officially born on October 2018. My teenage son and I have literally built this business together. He proudly calls himself the Vice President of Miya's.
One of the things I like most about the company is in the name; Munchies. To me, that can be anything you crave so this has allowed me a lot of flexibility to do and try different things as I am not locked into making something specific. With that said, one of the first recipes I attempted from the recipe book was my mom’s Scones. I loved them so much growing up, so I was excited to try this. it went horribly wrong! But from that my buttermilk biscuits were born. Tweaked a few ingredients and they are now my signature item, but mostly because of the unique flavor combinations like the Bacon, Cheddar & Green Onion or my Roasted Garlic, Asiago & Thyme. I am up to about 16 flavors now that include both savory and sweet biscuits. I also make a variety of butter and jams like my Honey Cinnamon Butter or Bourbon Bacon Jam to go with the biscuits. My savory pot pies are also another fan favorite. That pie crust, straight from the recipe book, is something special! I also do all sorts of specialty platters and dessert bars for events. And most recently I began making Brunch Boxes. These have been a HUGE hit!
I think what sets us apart is I am fusing our 20-year-old European inspired recipes with modern-day trends and techniques. One of my favorite things to hear is when my mom says “I never thought to do it that way.” It makes me feel like I am staying true to our roots but adding a fun modern twist. And then I take said items to the market and over and over the most common responses are “these flavors are so unique” or ‘I have never heard of this combination before.” But none of this would matter without the cornerstone of every business; hospitality. This was embedded in me from a very young age and I am forever grateful to my parents for teaching me to truly care for each and every customer. No business no matter how good your product is, will survive without understanding this concept. So thank you Mom & Dad.