By Christina Lalor
If you are from the Indianapolis area, you may have already heard of this inspiring family-operated business, Our Sons Bakery! If you have not yet, we highly recommend you check them out ASAP. Not only do they offer a diverse array of flavorful treats, but they are doing it while making a huge impact on the community.
We got in touch with the owner, Sabrena “Bre” Suggs a few months back to learn more about their operation and find ways we can collaborate and elevate one another’s mission and boy, we were not disappointed. Bre is such an energetic, passionate business owner and it was so amazing hearing her speak about the committed work they are doing. More than just creating delicious dessert popcorn and confections (known as Ummmy bars), OSB provides the opportunity to build brighter futures for not only her own sons, but Black youth across the city. Suggs has worked firsthand in social services and mental health and seen the consequences that a lack of support in a community can create. Her commitment and passion to the cause is what makes the operation so effective. Suggs is creating a bright light of hope and opportunity for the future of her community and beyond.
The benefits and impact Our Sons Bakery has had is incredible. They do fundraising bake sales, sponsor extracurricular activities and trips and provide tutoring to those who need some additional resources. Suggs hopes to teach baking and entrepreneurship skills to those in the community and hopefully more within the Indianapolis Public School system.
By far, the most popular item from Our Sons Bakery is their famed Ummmy bars. They are described as a treat somewhere between a cookie and a cake, I’ll have 10 please! The most fun aspect of this is that each of the treats is named after one of the bakers or a prominent black figure in history. This allows the boys to get a chance to create something that is their own- their favorite flavors, mixes and matches and put their name to it! For example, “the Jordan bar, is browned butter with triple chocolate chips, and the Xyren bar is fudge mint with Andes-and Oreo crumble.” They have over 50+ flavors and I don’t think they are slowing down anytime soon. In fact, they are continuing to expand and offer shipping nationwide, so make sure you order some Ummmy bars for your family and friends! Everyone deserves a bit of deliciousness.
When asked about OSB, Suggs wrote back:
“Our sons Bakery (OSB) is a family-owned social enterprise focused on giving youth opportunities to express creativity through food as they discover the strengths and gifts that will mold them into successful future business owners. Delighting customers with deliciousness and empowering youth with skills for lifelong success is at the heart of Our Sons Bakery.
OSB uses food to connect with male youth from socioeconomically challenged communities as a means to cultivate a foundation of excellence in the areas of education, income, and health. As youth are gaining invaluable knowledge and skills beneficial for lifelong success, customers are able to delight in high-quality, delicious confections that enhance the social landscape of youth.
Our Sons Bakery is known for its variety of 50+ flavorful gourmet baked confections known as Ummmy Bars. Ummmy bars are a delectable trifecta of a cookie, cake, and brownie combination. Using high-quality ingredients and signature recipes, Ummmy bars are the perfect combination of soft, chewy, and decadent deliciousness.
The business was started by [Suggs, a mom] with her young three sons in the spring of 2020 who decided to take a leap of faith to start a home-based bakery driven simply by their love for food, passion for community, and curiosity for flavor creativity. The idea to start baking came in 2019 from a family pastime of binge-watching cooking/ baking shows and inspired to create cool flavorful confections of their own. The ultimate goal was to create a baking enterprise reputable enough to host an annual youth baking competition.
The Covid-19 pandemic was the spark that lit the flame for the start of the bakery due to Indiana’s stay-home order that forced everyone to remain at home, simultaneously creating extra time for home-based activities. After generous donations of flour from local farmers along with a personal investment into baking equipment for their house, the incentive to go all in vastly outweighed the risk. With no prior professional experience in baking, the family started creating recipes inspired from their favorite baked goods, and a curious idea officially transitioned into a reality. Once a finalized base recipe for the bars was taste-tested with unanimous approval, they hosted their first public sale at Roadside Stand/ Pop-Up in mid-June 2020. Social media attention helped to give us exposure to secure our first corporate order for the end of July 2020 placed by a local Target. After posting via social media, the attention and requests began to increase creating a higher demand for more bakers and a bigger space. By October, the bakery transitioned into a licensed shared kitchen minutes from their home at Broadway UMC. The bakery has continually grown leaps and bounds through local support along with Ummmy craze even spreading to fans nationally as well.”
What an accomplishment and they are only just getting started! We are so excited to be partnering with OSB for our Valentine’s Day #7daygreenlivingchallenge. Not only did Suggs and her sons participate and complete Elay’s challenge to live more sustainably, but they are also providing our winner with a box of their delicious Ummmy Bars!
Our Sons Bakery shares in our values of safety, sustainability, and responsibility! We are all human here, constantly learning and growing from one another. We hope to continue our partnership and collaboration as we share in our missions to make our world a better place for all.
To taste an Ummmy bar or flavored popcorn for yourself, place orders with Our Sons on Facebook, Instagram, or over the phone at 317-643-1033, and keep up with their pop-up shops, which will be announced through social media.
By Jack Hornsby
So, we’re about 1 year into COVID at this point, and I think I speak for a majority of us when I say that this has been a tough 12 months. The first couple months of this awful pandemic it was kind of fun to sleep in, work from home, and just generally be lazy. But if you’re anything like me the novelty of all this has LONG since worn off. Fear not friends, because today we’re going to talk about things that you can do to beat boredom, and try to get out of the monotony of quarantine!
There’s been so many fun little activities that I’ve taken up during quarantine to keep myself occupied and sane, but we’re going to start with a more literal interpretation of the title of this article. Starting a new “workout” routine is a great way to quite literally stay active, and a great way to be healthier! Now, a new workout routine doesn’t have to be running, doing curls, sit ups, or whatever else you can think of. Sure working out can be those things, but there’s so many other options that cater to an individual’s interests; find out what works best for you!
One great alternative to your typical gym workout is yoga. Yoga is great because there is such a massive variety of difficulties that you can really start anywhere and find what you like and enjoy. Yoga is a workout that you can easily do a burnout exercise day on, or you can just do more relaxed exercises. I’ve found that 20 minutes of yoga a day is incredibly calming, and a solid workout that I would recommend to anyone with even a remote interest in fitness, plus there’s tons of amazing resources online to help you get started!
Another great form of exercise is hiking or walking. I’ve got a ton of great trails near where I live so it’s very easy to get out once every week or so. Being outside and in nature feels a lot like a reset for me and is alarmingly relaxing, all while getting some exercise! On the note of hiking, another great way to get out and do something is to plan a picnic! This can easily go hand in hand with hiking as you can find a fun hike and plan a picnic at the end, but for those of us who don’t want to haul food all the way up a hill I'm sure you can find a great spot without including hiking. Finding a great spot away from people, and just enjoying a meal in a nice place can be very relaxing. Make sure to bring your Élay plates along with you for your picnic. They make for great to-go containers, can be your water or food bowl if you brought your dog along with you and can be composted back to the Earth!
Finally, there are a ton of traditional workouts that you can do at home if these suggestions aren’t for you! Without access to any gym equipment there’s still a ton of things like sit ups, push ups, squats, lunges, and many more! This is definitely another one that’s purely based on personal preference, but I would highly recommend finding some workouts you can easily do at home and get into a routine of staying active!
Now let’s get into some stuff that won’t make your muscles hurt or require massive physical exertion! Something that’s really helped me pass the time during this pandemic is working on my hobbies. Now, a hobby can range from making music all the way to model trains. That’s the beauty of it, almost any interest of yours is probably something you can turn into a hobby!
During this pandemic I have had way more free time than I have had in years, and I needed more stuff to dump time into that I could do on my own. One of the things I came up with was work on my passion for music. Learning an instrument is something that can be incredibly challenging, and something you may never master, but you will get out of it exactly what you put in. If you don’t put forth much effort you won’t see any results, but a lot of time and effort and you will see consistent improvement. Don’t worry if you don’t get lessons either, in today’s age of online tutorials there’s literally hundreds of free tutorials to get you started on any instrument you find interesting!
Another form of art creation that you can do at home is drawing or painting! Really committing oneself to making art just for fun is a great pass time, and there really aren’t any parameters to what you can and can’t do. Now, I absolutely suck at drawing and painting, but that doesn’t mean that making something can’t be a fun little project. Recently I drew / watercolored one of my favorite movie’s posters, and surprisingly it came out well enough that I might actually put it up in my room! This is a great one because the cost of entry can be incredibly low, and the projects you want to work on can take as long or as short as you like!
Keeping with the theme of the arts, another “hobby” I’ve been devoting a lot of time into is my love for film and TV. I’ve found that it can be incredibly fun to give themes to specific months, and stick with that. For example October was horror month, and I saw some amazing movies, very original, I know. Another example more applicable to most people is that for February I’m doing a documentary month. I’ve spent a bunch of time finding documentaries that will be very interesting to me, and I'm excited to dive in!
Finally, cooking is an amazing way to pass the time. I’ve been very into cooking for quite a few years, but during the pandemic I’ve gotten a lot more adventurous with what I’m willing to try! I actually cooked my first flatbread a couple of weeks ago and wrote an article about it here on the blog, check it out! Cooking’s such a fun hobby because you can really do anything you want with it, and home making food is SO much cheaper than eating out! On top of all this cooking’s one of the best hobbies to share with others. While there’s a lot less opportunity to share food with others these days, coming out of quarantine as a bit of a chef is nothing but a plus. If you are having friends or family over for a small or larger gathering, make sure to have your Élay plates on hand.
I wanted to give some examples of activities that have helped occupy my time, but a hobby can really be anything that you enjoy doing. I had to take a big look at my interests and figure out what fun stuff that I could work on, on my own, and these things are what I came up with. Hopefully this gave you some good ideas to get more active throughout these trying times.