Alison Kowitz Kaplan sold insurance until she realized she could make a living from her own kitchen. Now known as Mom the Baker on social media, Kaplan, 37, bakes custom pastries for every occasion.
Growing up, Kaplan attended Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School. She then received a degree in marketing from Towson University.
Kaplan, a member of Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah Hebrew Congregation, lives in Reisterstown with her husband, Steven Kaplan, and their two children, Kayla, 8, and Ian, 5. Both children are students at Beth Tfiloh.
How would you describe your relationship with Judaism?
I went to Beth Tfiloh myself so it’s very important to me. It’s kind of the foundation as a person. The values and the traditions are very important to me.
Are there certain traditions that you have carried on with your children?
We are not religious, but we are traditional. We do Shabbat dinner every Friday night with my whole family. We light the candles, we have challah and we say all of the brachas. It is just a sense of being together. It makes it feel like Shabbat for us. For Rosh Hashanah and Pesach, it is the same kind of feeling. We just want everyone to feel like it’s a holiday. It is just a feeling.
What is Mom the Baker?
Mom the Baker is me. I’m a mom who loves to bake, and I love sharing my creations with everybody.
How did it start?
It’s almost been four years. I’ve always loved to bake. I grew up baking with my mom, my grandma and my sister. Then, someone asked me to make them decorated sugar cookies. I watched a lot of YouTube, and it kind of snowballed from there. I figured I can be flexible with my schedule, flexible with my kids and still make a living.
Do you feel like your marketing degree has helped with Mom the Baker?
Maybe a little bit. A lot has changed since I went to school. It has helped with my mindset and understanding what to do to market yourself. Social media has definitely been the kicker and the number one way to generate my business.
What is your favorite thing to bake?
Macarons. Everyone thinks it is really hard; it’s not hard. There is a certain technique to them, and it is very satisfying at the end when they grow feet [ruffles on the edges]. I also love baking cookies for weddings or bridal showers.
Is anyone else in your family a professional baker?
Not currently. However, I recently found out that my great-grandmother and her family had a bakery in Poland before the war. I knew her when I was little before she passed but I had no idea.
What do you do for fun?
When I have time, I like to be with my kids and play outside with them. I love to discover new things. I used to bake with them, and they loved it. Now, they just want me to stop baking for everyone else and only bake for them.