We spoke with Maria Keen, business manager of Bessie’s Best Lactation Cookies, to learn more about the company.
For someone unfamiliar with Bessie’s Best Lactation Cookies, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings?
Our mission is to be a source of support for all breastfeeding mothers, whether we’re supporting them with our products, or simply by being a place they can come to via social media to ask questions, share their experiences, or even just learn a bit more about breastfeeding through our informational posts. We are behind every breastfeeding mother’s journey whether it’s pumping or nursing, public or private, or long or short.
What is the background of Bessie’s Best Lactation Cookies? How was it started, and how has it evolved since?
Bessie’s Best Lactation Cookies was started by Jen Acuna, who struggled nursing both of her children. With her first, she lacked education and support and ended up stopping early. With her second, she was even more determined and educated. She connected with a Lactation Consultant and even joined a support group. After struggling with supply issues and trying every remedy that was suggested to her, her LC finally brought up lactation cookies (which were pretty new then). She tried some recipes she found online, and they tasted awful! So she made her own… and our lactation cookies were born!
Since starting the company, we have grown and evolved in many ways. Hiring a second baker to keep up with demand, purchasing a bakery for shipping and baking purposes, and registering as an LLC were the first three big steps Jen took to take Bessie’s to the next level. After that, it was hiring a full-time Operations Manager and Business Manager to help keep the business running smoothly and efficiently, and to ensure it was marketed well. We’ve also taken on a few other endeavors such as hosting “Bessie’s Best Mommy’s Nest” at the Pennsylvania Farm Show (the largest indoor agriculture show in America) and at the PA Homeschool Convention. There, we have a comfortable place to nurse and pump, changing tables, our lactation products for sale and sampling, and even a small play area. We’ve also branched out into selling internationally, all over the world! And of course, another huge change has been getting our products into three stores; one in Texas, Washington, and Massachusetts.
What are the most popular and/or newest products from Bessie’s Best Lactation Cookies?
Our lactation cookies are the original product and still remain our most popular, but the lactation granola is also a fan favorite. And since the granola does so well for us, we recently created a new, made-to-order lactation granola where customers can choose their own add-ins such as M&Ms, chocolate chunks, banana chips, marshmallows, and more! This gives them the ability to customize it to exactly what they want. Our lactation pumpkin bread is also a seasonal fan favorite, available from October to March. Once fall comes around, orders are flying in for it!
What sets Bessie’s Best Lactation Cookies apart from other lactation aids?
I think the biggest thing that sets our lactation products apart is that they are all so delicious! Taste very clearly sets us apart, as well as the type of products we have. We were the first to make lactation pumpkin bread and granola, and the cookies are a monster-type cookie bar, so they’re bigger, softer, and more filling. Price is also a great quality of our products. Compared to many other products out there, our cookies are among the most affordable. Finally, I think our customer service is absolutely top notch, and while a new mother may be sleep-deprived and stressed out, we are there to help! We also work with special dietary needs, such as making our products dairy-free, vegan, or even without the peanut butter (they’re also already fundamentally gluten-free).
What can parents expect to see from Bessie’s Best Lactation Company at the New York Baby Show?
Parents and expectant parents can expect to meet and chat with a few members of our team, ask us any questions they may have about our products or breastfeeding in general, taste our delicious lactation cookies and granola, and, if they want, purchase them right there!
To learn more, check out bessiesbestlactationcookies.com!