A few months ago, I had an opportunity to tour the kitchen behind Memphis’s favorite cupcake, cookie, and pie supplier: Muddy’s! Baker that I am, I was nerding out the WHOLE time, asking too many questions, snapping pictures like I was the Muddy’s paparazzi, and suggesting ways to improve a new frosting that’s in development. (No spoilers here. HA.)
Before I get into the tour, let me brief you a bit on Muddy’s. Founded by owner Kat Gordon, Muddy’s opened at its Sanderlin location in 2008. Muddy’s bakery originally operated out of the Sanderlin store, but they soon outgrew it after gaining loyal fans from all over Memphis. The organization’s next step was to open a kitchen that would provide additional space for baking and decorating inventory. Muddy’s most recent venture is a bake shop/coffeehouse on Cooper Street, affectionately named the Grindhouse. All three locations have a warm, colorful vibe and decor, complete with unicorns and gnomes.
I signed up to go on the tour about 3 months ago, and I got my fellow foodie friend, Sarah, to come with me. We were excited at first, but we put our anticipation on hold until yesterday, when we started texting each other about the tour, as groupies do.
We arrived about 10 minutes early, which gave us some time to take in the atmosphere of the Muddy’s kitchen and stake out the best seats in the house. The kitchen is housed in a reclaimed warehouse, and Muddy’s shares the space with the Collage Dance Collective, a local dance group.
Once all 17 of us arrived, plastered name tags on our chests, and were seated, Janine, a high-ranking member of Muddy’s admin team, and Bridget, production manager of the Muddy’s Kitchen, gave us an overview of Muddy’s. We learned about the birth and development of Muddy’s as we know it and got to hear about their experiences working with Muddy’s. Following their intro, they split us into two groups: one group would stay with Janine and practice decorating while the other group (mine!) would tour the kitchen with Bridget. You don’t even know how difficult it was for me not to shove past all of the other tourgoers and launch myself into the kitchen. Restraint kicked in, though, for the most part ;).
Tour, Part 1: The Kitchen
Bridget took us through each of the fundamental zones of the kitchen, beginning with the coffee maker. #priorities. As we walked through, she introduced us to each baker who was on that “station” and explained that specific realm of the kitchen. We even got to try our hand at a few of the tasks that comprise the bakers’ daily routines.
Tour, Part 2: Testing Our Skillz + Tasting
Although it meant free (!) samples (!) of four different Muddy’s items (!), I was more excited about the kitchen tour than the decorating and tasting. For starters, I don’t own any kind of piping equipment; I’ve only recently ventured into cutting tips off of Ziploc bags. I’m so fancy. BUT- I tried to go in with an open mind.
Click here to go see Muddy’s behind the scenes for yourself!
It is so cool that you got to take a tour of Muddy’s to see how all of the magic happens! I especially like the Mad Props board that you showed of how the employees give each other props when they do something good! I’m sure this makes working there rewarding! What was your favorite part?
Jenny Barrett says
Hi Taylor! The Muddy’s tour WAS cool, and I highly recommend going on it if you get a chance. My favorite part was… (Did I leave this out of the post in the name of neutrality? WEIRD. That’s unlike me.) being in the kitchen. I loved learning about the behind-the-scenes tricks of making Muddy’s products, seeing how everything is made on a HUGE scale/in bulk, and seeing the tools for baking. Let me know if you get to go!