Internationally acclaimed Kellie’s Baking Co. stays grounded by giving back locally.
Story and photos by Courtney Runn.
When Kellie Moore first started baking her cookies, she couldn’t stop giving them away.
“In the beginning, if you had a sob story, you call Kellie and she’s going to give you some free cookies,” Moore jokes. “I was notorious for it.”
After a chat with her accountant, she started focusing her philanthropic spirit to make sure Kellie’s Baking Co. stayed in business. While she encountered a few bumps along the way (She once hired a group of young adults from a rehabilitation center who showed up for only half their work shifts.), she’s now found her sweet spot of staying in business and giving back to the community.
An international success, Kellie’s Baking Co. caters events throughout the country and the world and works with companies to create unique sweets to market their brands. Kellie’s Baking Co. might be best known for its InstaBites, Moore’s “magic” technology that enables her to take pictures at events then print them on cookies. Moore wishes she had a secret camera to capture the jaw drops when people see their own faces on cookies.
From catering a baby shower for The Real Housewives of Atlanta to mingling with celebrities in Hollywood, Moore has quite the glitzy roster of customers, but it’s the humbler requests that make her tear up and stay with her. She loves when customers hire her for anniversaries or milestone birthdays. Once, a customer hired her to make 80 cookies with pictures to celebrate an 80th birthday.
“You can walk around the table and take a journey of someone’s life just through these cookies,” Moore says.
Giving back has always been a priority for Moore. She spent her early childhood in poverty until her mother married her stepfather and Moore went from stealing lunches at school to eating meals at the local country club. She still remembers that disparity and what it felt like to have nothing.
When Moore was a child, her mother encouraged her and her siblings to volunteer, and they spent time at nursing homes with senior citizens. During her two-decade corporate career, Moore also volunteered with her co-workers in the community. When she started her own baking company in 2006, it was natural to include philanthropy as a company tenet.
While sweets are her passion, it’s never been just about making dessert. From partnering with local nonprofits to hiring employees that need a second chance in life, Moore is always looking for ways to help others.
“Just being able to make someone smile is so amazing,” Moore says. “[Kellie’s Baking Co. has] been the hardest thing I’ve ever done but the most rewarding too.”