Mark LInen, proprietor of Brotha Bakes, holds a pattern of certainly one of his do-it-yourself muffins in a jar exterior of his Sugar Land dwelling
Picture: Annie Mulligan, Houston Chronicle / Contributor
Comic and TV sport present host Steve Harvey usually says that should you get up each morning and also you don’t really feel captivated with what you’re doing, then you definately’re not dwelling your function. These phrases resonated with Mark Linen, a Sugar Land truck driver who’s had a penchant for baking since childhood.
“I’m definitely not captivated with driving a truck,” stated Linen. “However I’m captivated with baking.”
Rising up, Linen would sit in his kitchen, fascinated, intently observing his mom whereas she baked. She stopped doing so when he and his siblings bought older and moved away from dwelling, however Linen by no means forgot what he had discovered from her. In November 2019, he began his enterprise, Brotha Bakes, which sells layered muffins in a jar: pink velvet, German chocolate, lemon, carrot and extra.
Linen began promoting domestically to family and friends, making his means as much as baking round 50 to 75 jars per week. He’s nonetheless solely doing it part-time, alongside his day job as a truck driver. He primarily bakes himself, though his spouse and two teenage sons chip in every time they’ll.
Simply earlier than the coronavirus pandemic hit, he had organized to start out promoting his muffins to markets and festivals in Houston, however the unfold of the virus pressed pause on these plans.
To get muffins in a jar from Brotha Bakes, go to brothabakes.com
Shortly afterward, Linen bought related to Subsequent Insurance coverage, an insurance coverage supplier for small companies. The corporate had been engaged on producing its first nationwide promoting marketing campaign, however as they noticed small enterprise homeowners struggling, they determined to reallocate a part of their funds to assist them out. Subsequent spent greater than $250,000 on hiring 50 enterprise homeowners, from contractors and private trainers to circus performers and occasion DJs. Their efforts are highlighted within the new advert marketing campaign, referred to as Constructed By Enterprise, which premiered this week.
Subsequent Insurance coverage ordered 220 muffins from Brotha Bakes and Linen delivered them to Houston Methodist Hospital’s Sugar Land location as a approach to give again to frontline staff. Within the spot, Linen is proven baking in his kitchen and loading jars at the back of his automobile, together with snippets from different enterprise homeowners. Linen can also be featured in his personal particular person video on Next Insurance’s website.
“It gave me a glimpse of what my future would appear like baking muffins at that degree,” Linen stated. “Doing 220-plus muffins per week can be superior for me.”
He says he’s already gaining some traction. An increasing number of individuals are making an attempt his muffins and reordering them, in addition to telling buddies about them. He’s tentatively revisiting his plan of promoting to markets and festivals this summer time, maybe beginning in July. General, Linen is feeling assured and optimistic about the way forward for his enterprise.
“I actually really feel like as soon as any person tries the muffins, they’re hooked,” he stated. “I is likely to be just a little biased.”