SIPSEY – Jason Patterson of Sipsey is a hospice nurse practitioner by day, but most nights you can find him in his kitchen wearing gloves and rolling out his homemade dough. By bedtime, which is …
SIPSEY – Jason Patterson of Sipsey is a hospice nurse practitioner by day, but most nights you can find him in his kitchen wearing gloves and rolling out his homemade dough. By bedtime, which is often after midnight, his counter is full of his one-of-a-kind rolls.
He got started with his baking business by accident.
“It all started from a Facebook joke,” Patterson said. He posted that he’d made too many orange rolls and asked if anyone would be interested in any?
His Facebook page lit up.
He planned to give the rolls away, but people started offering to buy them. That was in November 2018, and by New Year’s, he’d sold 85 trays of sweet rolls.
“That’s a lot for two people because we’re making our dough from scratch,” he said.
Patterson works day shift in as a nurse practitioner, so his wife Sarah gets the dough started while he’s working. When he comes home in the evenings, he takes the dough to the next level.
“When I get home from my day job, I roll out the dough and do the filling,” he said. After this, he rolls, fills, cuts, and places in a pan for baking.
He started a Facebook page called the Bearded Baker Co. and invited all his friends to like the page. All of a sudden, the orders were coming from people he didn’t know, according to Patterson.
He was looking for a name that stood out. Since he has had a beard since September of 2017, he came up with the Bearded Baker, as a name.
“I’ve kind of pigeon-holed myself because now I can’t shave,” Patterson mused. His cousin designed a logo for the page.
Patterson received the cottage food license early in February. This is a fairly new law in Alabama that allows people to make non-hazardous foods in their home and sell to the public directly, according to Patterson. This means that under this license, Patterson can’t do mail order, and he has to sell the food personally. He had to take a food safety course with an exam at the Alabama Extension Office in Jasper.
He started out writing orders down in a notebook, and he was overwhelmed. He moved it all onto a spreadsheet on his computer.
Patterson offers raspberry, orange, cinnamon, and peach rolls. Another offering includes homemade dinner yeast rolls. His number one seller is his peach roll.
“I thought it would be my orange or cinnamon, but it’s the peach roll,” he said. The inside is butter, peach preserves, and brown sugar. He also makes a homemade icing to go on top. “Mine are definitely dessert rolls,” he said.
He markets through Facebook. If someone wants rolls, they message him on Facebook, and they respond quickly. Most people want to know about pricing and location. The couple responds with prices and delivery information. They try to do most deliveries on the weekend.
“I can sell my goods at festivals, farmer’s markets, I can set up on the sidewalk,” he said.
The Patterson’s are doing the Irish Heritage festival in Hanceville on March 16. They’ve thought about a food truck, “but that takes a lot of capital,” he said.
Patterson likes all kinds of cooking. “I like to do Southern recipes that people my age don’t cook, like chicken and dumplings,” he said.
Where is this business headed? He’s going to take it slowly to see where it goes. He hopes to get a feel for how the public receives them at the festival in March.
He has to be mindful about his products because they have to be totally cooked. “I don’t want to have too much product and not enough business,” Patterson said.
He follows up on sales to make sure that customers enjoy his rolls. He’s doing something right because he’s getting repeat customers.
Danni Capps Weldon, who attends Grace Baptist Church with Patterson, said that his rolls are amazing.
“We bought peach, orange, and cinnamon rolls from him for Christmas morning,” Weldon said. “These rolls will be a new tradition in our home.”
Both Patterson and his wife worked at Chick-fil-A when they were younger. “I loved that job, and I like to think that’s where I learned my customer service skills,” he said.
Patterson’s wife Sarah was born in Dora, and he was born in Bessemer. The couple will soon celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. They have three children.
For those who would like a taste of the Bearded Baker’s rolls, visit TheBeardedBakingCo on Facebook.