Sarah Jones is a woman on a mission. The former Silicon Valley techie turned entrepreneur is determined to make baking fun, cool and accessible to a new generation with Miss Jones Baking Co. Oh, and did we mention it’s all organic? With aggressive expansion plans and her arms elbow deep in dough, Jones is poised to snatch the Betty Crocker crown—though she prefers to think of herself as the “hip granddaughter” of at-home-baking’s most iconic (fictional) matriarch. “We're millennials making products that align with our aesthetic, values and taste,” said Jones. “We want to help our customers make the most delicious baked goods they've ever had, while knowing that they're serving the best possible ingredients.”
How did you go about starting your company?
I've always been a home baker and even worked at a commercial bakery in college to learn the business. I noticed that there wasn't a clean-label frosting or baking mix that I loved. I also wasn't seeing the big brands innovate in the space; they were doing more of the same, tweaking their formulas to create new flavors, not rethinking what should be in your baking mix or frosting. After spending a few years in finance and operations at PwC and Apple, I decided that we could fill that void by creating the modern American baking brand.
Why do we need organic baking mix?
Here is what could be lurking in your conventional baking mix: partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, distilled monoglycerides, artificial flavors, sodium sterol lactylate, mono and diglycerides, propylene glycol monoesters and diesters of fatty acids, trans fats, polysorbate 60. Conventional baking mixes were developed in a time where it was "cool" to use science to make cakes rise twice as high as they normally would with half the mix, where the goal was to create new and more addictive flavors that didn't replicate real life. That's not the world we live in today. We want real and honest ingredients.
Tell us some of your go-to kitchen hacks. You must have some good ones.
Everyone should own two sizes of retractable ice cream scoops: one for portioning out mini cookies or cupcakes and one for normal-size cookies and cupcakes (small scoop and medium scoop). The other thing you should have on hand is parchment paper sheets—not rolls. It's the easiest way to remove brownies from the pan and cut them without mangling a quarter of the brownies, and it saves you from washing your pans when you bake cookies. Between those three tools, you've just saved yourself at least 30 minutes every time you whip up your favorite cookies, cupcakes or brownies.
Obviously, you can’t only eat sweets—what’s a typical food day look like?
A lot of lean proteins and veggies to make room for all of the sweets. It's probably pretty obvious since I started a baking company, but I am a serious sweet fiend. My current obsession is our Molten Mexican Chocolate Brownie Bites with Chili Flake Sea Salt (a.k.a. Better Than Your Ex Bites). I had six while we were recipe testing...
Which city is killing it when it comes to baked goods and pastries?
I mean, I am pretty impressed with what we have going on in SF these days. B. Patisserie for Kouign-amanns,Craftsman and Wolves for The Rebel Within, The Mill for great toast, Mr. Holmes for cruffins, and Susie Cakes for the best cake in town. I would say no trip to New York is complete without a visit to my favorite bakery, Milk Bar. Christina Tosi is just otherworldly to me.
What are some of your favorite SF restaurants?
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