“I appreciate the money and everything, but to know that my name is getting out there for cooking food, which is what I’ve always wanted to do, that makes me really happy.”
— Sakile Mitchell
Vision, drive, and creativity have taken Sakile Mitchell from line cook to emerging player in Portland’s culinary scene in a matter of months. With unique flavors like the Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Brownie and her trademark, friendly customer service, Mitchell’s Brown Sugar Cookie Company has already left an impression on the city.
“People will see me on the street and recognize me. ‘You’re the cookie lady!’” says Mitchell. “I appreciate the money and everything, but to know that my name is getting out there for cooking food, which is what I’ve always wanted to do, that makes me really happy.”
Brown Sugar Cookie Company debuted in November 2017 at My People’s Market. The gourmet cookie company sells at local festivals and markets and offers delivery and catering options. Its motto is, “Every bite tastes like home.”
“The experience is very cozy, very welcoming, very loving and warm. I didn’t see a lot of that in the places I worked,” says Mitchell.
Mitchell spent seven years working as a line cook. While the experience helped her grow her craft, she quickly realized she needed more business development skills. Since starting Brown Sugar Cookie Company, she has worked with Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO) and Mercy Corps Northwest to develop fundamental business skills and build both personal and business credit.
Of MESO and Mercy Corps she says, “They’ve just given me lots of wisdom, help and mentorship… I did not know how much I needed it until I needed it.”
Utilizing those supports, Mitchell has rapidly built her customer base, winning over many influential food bloggers and business organizations along the way. She hopes to open a storefront in 2019 and then expand from there.
“I want to make it into a franchise but still keep the authenticity. I want this to be big,” she says.
Storyteller: Bruce Poinsette | Photos: Cervante Pope | Published: May 2018