A local entrepreneur is trading square footage and “for sale” signs for chef’s robes, baking pans and brownie batter.
Rose Mohr, a 20-year real estate veteran, plans to open the Amazing Brownie Company in August. She hopes to turn a longtime hobby – fine-tuned at family gatherings and holiday parties – into a career.
“I was always the one that got solicited to make dessert,” she said. “Because they knew I was the baking queen.”
Mohr began developing the concept for the Amazing Brownie Company about six months ago while living in Albuquerque, N.M. When her husband came to Richmond in January for a job, she decided it was time for her to try something new as well.
“I just decided, I’m going to have fun,” she said.
Mohr will begin by selling brownies out of her Glen Allen home as soon as she gets the go-ahead from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. She has four staple flavors, including double chocolate and toffee almond, as well as gluten-free offerings.
A chocolate sea salt brownie, which features salt imported from England, is a fan favorite, Mohr said. Mini brownie bites and seasonal flavors such as chocolate pumpkin, chocolate banana and a “sweet and heat” chocolate chili brownie are also in the works.
For now, Mohr is cooking at Relish the Kitchen, a Chesterfield culinary co-op. She hopes to move into her own space by the New Year and has considered Carytown and Stony Point as potential locations.
“The goal is obviously to get into space where I can produce the product, package and ship all in the same place,” Mohr said.
The brownies, weighing in at about 3.5 ounces, sell for $2.25 each. A four-flavor sample box is available for $8. Gluten-free brownies will cost a little more, and the products always come individually wrapped.
“You can throw them in a backpack, you can take them to the office, you can throw them in a gift basket … you can do anything with them,” Mohr said.
Mohr has invested a couple thousand dollars in the business. She will have to lease some cooking equipment in a new space, she said, and the company will look to add three or four employees.
The Amazing Brownie Company enters an already crowded baked goods market. Sweet Mo’s Minis and CapCity CupCakes opened on Broad Street last winter. Carytown already houses Carytown Cupcakes, while Two Sweet Cupcakes and Frostings Bake Shop operate in Short Pump.
The cupcake business hasn’t been sweet for everyone, however. Babycakes Bakery in Carytown closed late last year. CapCity has also shut down, although the company’s website promises a new shop in the near future.
Mohr hopes to build her brand in coming months by offering her product at local events, such as wine and chocolate festivals. Customers’ personal recommendations, she said, will be the best way to get her business off the ground.
“I want to go out there and do the very best I can to give them great service and give them a memorable brownie,” she said.