KALAMAZOO, Mich. — COVID-19 hasn't been easy on local businesses, but one Kalamazoo woman has found sweet success with her bakery Love Muffins which opened up in July of 2020.
Eileen Pawlicki loves baking her famous carrot cake muffins at the Kalamazoo Nonprofit Advocacy Coalition, a shared community kitchen at a local church. Hairnet on and hands washed, she starts up the mixer and starts prepping the batter as she reflects on nearly two years of having her business.
“Honestly it’s been a challenge. Every time that I wanted to ask someone for help I just kind of had to look within myself and get the answers myself. I don’t have a business background, I have an education background," Pawlicki said.
She started Love Muffins after her job with Kalamazoo Public Schools fell through, realizing she wanted to tune into her long-standing passion for baking.
“I was home with my daughter and I was unemployed at the time and her and I just decided to start baking for our neighborhood," she said.
Now Eileen is baking for more than just her neighborhood. Love Muffins is in seven locations around the Kalamazoo area including cafes and other local businesses. She runs the business with the help of her family and also works another part-time job. So how does she do it all?
“One day at a time," Eileen said.
She also gets a little help from her two daughters - Savannah and Hellen. They help with the business side of things and baking, Hellen even helped perfect the recipe.
“She’s actually responsible for the frosting that everybody loves. So I can’t give away the secret," Eileen said with a laugh.
Eileen likes to keep things fun in the kitchen, making Tik Toks to connect with the community.
“My favorite part really is connecting with customers so the more I’m baking the more I’m connecting with my customers," she said.
Love Muffins is a family affair. With Savannah and Hellen helping mom in the kitchen, Eileen's niece helped design the website and logo and the actual recipe for the carrot cake being Eileen's mother's who passed away a few years ago from ovarian cancer.
“ I keep a picture of my mom here to remind me why I’m doing this and how I started," Eileen said as she prepared another batch.