When I bought this house three years ago, there was a sign on the front of one of my neighbor’s homes that said
‘Bakery coming soon!’
I asked around and was told that although they hadn’t opened yet, if I knocked on the front door and asked for Mignon, she would be happy to sell me some cupcakes, and that they were good. And that’s how I met my remarkable friend, Mignon Francois.
Mignon and A.E. Francois had moved to Nashville from New Orleans a few years earlier, into a house that had been condemned. With six kids, the economy tanking, and no money coming in, things were pretty desperate for them. Mignon started trying to think of ways to make enough money to keep the children fed. One of her daughters, Brittany, was a pretty good little baker. And so Mignon, who claims to be a bad cook herself, figured that they could have a bake sale every day.
Along with other neighbors and people in the know, we started placing orders with her. It took awhile before she went public with the business, because she kept it debt free and saved the money from the baking she did with her daughters. Her husband used those savings to turn their living room into a bakery.
Within months of opening The Cupcake Collection, the place was packed, often with lines of people spilling out the door and along the sidewalk. Today she is employing something like twenty happy people, and operating out of two locations. Her mom, Linda, from whom she gets her smarts, drives up from Huntsville, Alabama and stays during the week to do the books.
It is an amazing story, and she does a good job explaining it herself. This is one you have to watch:
Last night I went with the family and friends to see their 18-year-old son, Dillon, be presented at the Children of the King L’Elegance Cotillion, sponsored by the Riverside Chapel Seventh Day Adventist Church.
It was a special night. Along with around thirty other young people, Dillon had worked all year, raising money for his college education, doing volunteer work, and suffering through classes in things like ‘dining etiquette.’ Phew! We all got up and cheered when Dillon won the Congeniality Award. It was a no-brainer, he’s the family charmer:
What a difference three years can make. Here’s the happy Francois family: A.E. and Mignon, with her mother Linda, their children Alex, Lauren, Jacques, Dillon, Brittany, and little Xavier, with assorted girlfriends and boyfriends.
© Copyright 2011, Southern Dysfunction