Thursday, May 17, 2012
EMA Baking Co. is new Dallas company making Martin’s Biscotti
A happy byproduct of the recently passed Cottage Food Law in Texas.
The EMA Baking Co. is not just a mom-and-pop -- it's a mom-and-pop-and-daughter, namely Martin Vandiver, his wife Ann Cichon, and his daughter Elizabeth, who make a line of "Martin's Biscotti" in five flavors.
Martin had been baking biscotti at home for years; sometimes his wife Ann, who is a jewelry maker, would take them to jewelry shows, where they'd be snapped up. After Elizabeth graduated from from culinary school at the Art Institute of Dallas with an emphasis in baking, the family decided to give it a run.
"All our friends were telling us they liked our Tuscan-style biscotti -- it's not like what you get at your typical coffee shop," Martin says. "I'd worked at a bakery when I was young and knew that it was thankless and hard. But last year Texas modified its cottage food law, making it legal for a home business or a home baker to bake a dry baked good and sell it -- as long as they were selling less than $50K worth in a year, they could sell it legally from their door. My wife convinced me it was a good idea, after having taken the biscotti for the last couple years to these jewelry shows, where the crowd told us what they liked, and even told us what they would pay for it."
They started the business last fall and had an amazing holiday season, and the thing has just taken off. It's all still DIY -- there's a Facebook page, of course, and Martin, who is an advertising photographer, did their website himself.
Martin and Elizabeth have since gotten their license for food service management.
They have five flavors, some quite distinctive:
- basic di prato with saffron and almond
- tart cherry with pistachio and orange zest, their most popular flavor
- chocolate hazelnut with black currant and cocoa nib
- curry with coconut and almond
- Oaxacan style mole with Peruvian raisins and chipotle