Mother-daughter cookie company bakes with love in Bow home kitchen

  • Sarah Guinther and her daughter, Maddy, make a batch of cookies at their home kitchen in Bow. SRUTHI GOPALAKRISHNAN / Monitor staff

  • Sarah Guinther makes a batch of cookies at her home kitchen in Bow SRUTHI GOPALAKRISHNAN—SRUTHI GOPALAKRISHNAN

Monitor staff
Published: 9/23/2023 3:00:54 PM
Modified: 9/23/2023 3:00:03 PM

Stepping into Sarah Guinther’s home feels like being wrapped in a warm, fragrant embrace, where the daily symphony of cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar fills the air as she and her seven-year-old daughter, Maddy, bake cookies in their kitchen.

Their little home bakery, Maddi Hatter Cookie Company in Bow, pays homage to Maddy’s beloved character, the Mad Hatter, from Alice in Wonderland.

Beyond the whimsical name lies a profound purpose – to empower Maddy, a mission Guinther holds dear.

“I wanted to show my daughter that a woman can run her own business, have a career and a woman can run a household,” said Guinther, who was discouraged from starting a baking business for a variety of reasons. “I’m giving my child an example that she can do anything she wants to.”

Between school and figure skating classes, Maddy enthusiastically lends a hand in the kitchen. Sometimes, she’s the apple-chopping assistant for a test cookie and at other times, she shapes cookie dough balls, placing them delicately on baking trays before they go into the oven.

Guinther moved to Bow from Merrimack a year ago and launched her baking company almost immediately, relying on the community’s support.

“Everybody jumps in to help,” said Gunthier. “Without them, like the figure skating club or the people in the community trying test cookies for me, I wouldn’t know if they are terrible or great.”

Guinther’s days stretch into the late hours, often concluding her kitchen duties at 10 p.m. The home-baked cookies are delivered not just to customers in New England, but also to customers all around the country and the world.

According to Guinther, Maddi Hatter cookies have been shipped to customers in Canada and Europe.

She is not just a home baker; she is also a senior executive operations manager for a pharmaceutical company, having originally trained as a microbiologist.

“This,” she says with a smile, “is my passion, my true love — the other job, it happened by accident, never my initial intention.”

The mother-daughter duo offers a delightful array of treats, ranging from classic chocolate chip cookies to indulgent soft gingerbread cookies with maple buttercream.

Their commitment to the local community shines brightly, with most ingredients sourced from nearby businesses. Guinther also places a high priority on giving back.

“If somebody can’t afford to give their kid a cake or cookies for their birthday, I make them for them for free. I have a soft spot for kids and I don’t think a kid should go without. So I just make them,” said Guinther.

The biggest challenge she faces is a lack of space. She soon wants to have a storefront where she can have direct contact with her customers.

With each cookie Guinther makes, she hopes to be an example to her daughter and expand her business.

“I know the quality and the value. I know what I’m doing here is not made by a machine and it’s not made from anything but pure ingredients. So that makes me very happy knowing that I’m not feeding somebody garbage,” said Guinther.

Sruthi Gopalakrishnan

Sruthi Gopalakrishnan covers environmental and energy stories in Bow, Hopkinton, Dunbarton and Warner for the Concord Monitor. In 2022, she graduated from Northwestern University with a master's degree in journalism, specializing in investigative reporting. She also has a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Engineering and is always looking for new ways to incorporate data and visual elements into her stories. Her work has appeared in Energy News Network, Prism Reports and Crain's Chicago Business.

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