Making the Most of Mother's Day

According to the National Retail Federation, American consumers are expected to spend a record high of $23.6 billion for Mother’s Day this year. That would far surpass the previous high last year of $21.4 billion. We know that people will be spending, but the question is, how do you get them to spend at your bakery?

Marketing can be the most valuable tool in bringing in customers who otherwise wouldn’t think of your business’ offerings for this special day. The U.S. Small Business Administration provides a few ideas to get you on the right path. Aside from the obvious first task of promoting Mother’s Day on social media, you can also use this as an opportunity to get creative with how you promote your bakery.

For example, contests can be a good way to build buzz. You can ask people to share their mother’s favorite thing to bake or a throwback photo of their mother baking, and one winner can be chosen for a special prize. You can also offer two-for-one specials at your bakery if customers bring their mothers with them. Holding a special event can be another great way to bring in customers. Your bakery could offer a special baking class for mothers and their children to enjoy at your location, while you simultaneously promote your own products.

While promotion is one half of the equation, product and service is the other half.

As bakeries approach the holiday, it’s helpful to recognize and respond to one emerging trend. Retailers are witnessing a shift in demand away from traditional Mother’s Day cakes and more toward inventive “small-bite” desserts. 

“Our orders for that holiday lean towards macarons, chocolates and pastry rather than cakes,” says William Leaman, owner of Bakery Nouveau in Seattle.

Lately, Bakery Nouveau receives more customer orders for desserts geared for smaller family and friends, as opposed to large orders and custom decoration requests. Their situation mirrors an industrywide trend toward smaller, indulgent desserts. 

“We want to be able to make great tasting desserts at a reasonable cost, so that’s what we focus,” Leaman says. “This lets us still do some fancy or custom work here and there, or other higher production cost work, without it impacting our overall margins.”

There are all sorts of ideas you can bring to your bakery or pastry shop that offer flavorful options in a scaled down version of dessert.

For example, Bake’n Joy suggests one way to entice customers with signature flavors is by starting with Bake’n Joy’s scoop Cake Batters and Whoopie Pie Cream and add a few items off the shelf for delectable dessert items. Salted caramel, black forest, grasshopper and pink peppermint are among a few ideas to get started.

Sprinkles Cupcakes recently unveiled its newest innovation, Cookie Cupcakes, which are sure to be a success for Mother’s Day and other spring occasions.

The cupcake is a chocolate chip-studded yellow cake that’s lined with its own cookie crust. The topping is a brown sugar frosting that’s been dusted with crunchy cookie pieces.

Sprinkles owner Candace Nelson says she used other mash-ups as inspiration for this one. “You know I’m a fan of a great mash-up, and since Sprinkles is famous for its ice cream cupcake mash-ups, why not a cookie cupcake mash-up,” she says. “Here, I take two of my favorite things in the world – cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies – and make them one.”

At Piccione Pastry in St. Louis, sweet and savory choices grab the spotlight for its annual Mother’s Day brunch, including Piccione benedicts, frittatas ingredients, and an assortment of the shop’s signature pastries, mini cannoli and Italian cookies.

“We’re excited to channel our history and Italian culture for Mother’s Day,” says Sandia Hoormann, Piccione’s pastry chef. “Our original recipes have been passed through the Piccione family for almost 100 years. We work hard to provide guests with unique and seasonal twists on authentic Italian cookies, pastries, cakes and more.”