A Short and Sweet Story of Big Success So Far
Rosie Acres Bakery is a home-based cottage food certified bakery located in Chillicothe Illinois that was established in January 2022 by Emily Jefford. They offer delicious desserts that can be tailored to you and your event given any dietary restrictions or needs. Rosie Acres started as a hobby for Mrs. Jefford, she started baking for fun to keep busy. She had made so much that they couldn’t possibly eat it all so she just started giving it away to friends and family. By Fall of 2022 Mrs. Jefford was serving her community and to people she didn’t even know were contacting her for baked goods. At this point she knew she really had more than just a hobby on her hands. So that led her to obtain the necessary licenses and certifications to operate as a business, and as of April of this year Rosie Acres Bakery is a fully registered, certified, and licensed cottage food bakery. And the business has really launched into success. In June it allowed for Mrs. Jefford to become a full-time business owner and no longer have to work her day job.
You may be wondering, if Rosie Acres is owned by Emily then who is Rosie? And the answer is…Rosie was their family’s beloved dog; the first member of their family and she had passed away so the name Rosie Acres is a tribute to her.
Mrs. Jefford had become connected with Bradley University’s Illinois Small Business Development Center fairly early in her business journey when she was starting to need to turn her hobby into a legitimate business. She got Connected with Chris Youngmark, Assistant SBDC Director, through Amanda Beales, the Chillicothe Economic developer, and from there Chris was able to fully help her receive all licensing, certifications, and registrations necessary to become a legitimate bakery in addition to dealing with all the tax issues. Mrs. Jefford stated “working with Chris, he definitely gave me the tools, knowledge, and confidence to pursue my dreams. Without his guidance and mentorship I probably wouldn’t be where I’m at now. And the amount of growth I’ve had since working with him has been a phenomenal experience.”
As for the future of her business, Mrs. Jefford is in the process of restoring a building that will become a brick and mortar store for them to operate out of which is an iconic building in Chillicothe that used to be a general store in the 1900’s. She had acquired the building when moving to Chillicothe in 2020. The building really had sold them on the property and she didn’t know until moving and meeting people in the community that the building was very special to everyone in the community. Mrs. Jefford had said “so many people have a connection, memory, or tie to the building. And the responses from people in the community saying ‘I’m so glad you’re doing something with this building’, ‘I’m so glad it’s being used’, ‘I’m so glad it’s being updated’, has been phenomenal”. A lot of people have asked Mrs. Jefford if she plans on moving into the downtown area and her response has been that the building is so important to the community and so many people want to see it restored that she will not be moving into the downtown area at this point. Her goal is to bring this building back to a point where it can be safe and usable to her business and the community who loves it so dearly.
Additionally, Rosie Acres will continue to host “boozy bakery” nights as well as more events to come to really bring some life to Chillicothe's nightlife and social scene. All future events can be found via the Rosie Acres Facebook and website.