A while back, I wrote an article called, “Loving responsible single mothers who stay 1up.” Barra Jones, of Pasadena California, the founder of “Barra’s Just Homemade Cookies”, fits the description of the mothers whom I was referring to. Mrs. Jones, mother of two, became inspired after the birth of her first child. As must mothers do, she wanted to be able to provide the necessary attention and care her son deserved, but found it difficult, while working the typical nine to five hours of a full time job.
“I use to work in the social service field and did not want my child to feel the neglect, which I had seen so many other children experience. I decided that my son was my priority, so I cut my work hours to spend more time with him”, said Jones. Jones continued by quoting a saying from an unknown source. “A lot of people find the value in their purse, but true wealth is at the heart, not the purse.”
So what did she do to supplement her income? She decided to sell cookies. What she did not know was that she was setting her path to become a social entrepreneur for working parents, primarily working mothers. Her original idea was to become financially independent, and more importantly, to gain a flexible working schedule. As Mrs. Jones explained, “Once I was able to create my own schedule, I knew I had to establish a report with many of the local businesses, so I took to the streets. Strategically, I selected locations where people had limited food area’s to select from.”
Applying her talent with hard work, Barra Jones achieved her goal to spend more time with her newborn son, through using her ability to bake cookies as an extra means of creating additional income. A good idea came into play, and it all worked out for her. In 2009, she decided reach out to other parents whom were currently feeling how she had once felt when she had wanted to spend more time with her newborn son. As a result, a social entrepreneur was born, and the slogan, “Barra’s just homemade, a cookie with a purpose!” was created. That purpose, as seen on her companies website, reads:
“The proceeds from every cookie ordered are used to assist in the growth of ‘The Barra’s Just Homemade Foundation’, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to seek and assist mothers in becoming financially independent which enables them to spend more time with their family. Barra’s Just Homemade is Helping Other Mothers Earn Money And Desired Employment…one cookie at a time.”
When asked to elaborate about the correlation between the cookies and the foundation, Jones replied, “Currently, I’m using the cookies as a tool to grow the ‘Barras Just Homemade Foundation.” She also stated. “Our objective, as seen on our website, is to be in a position to seek and assist mothers in becoming financially independent, which enables them to spend more time with their family. All mothers should have the opportunity to give their family the love and attention they deserve. No child should experience neglect, due to a mother’s long work hours. Mothers are faced with the everyday decision to either sacrifice time spent with the family, or make financial provisions. We are here to help those mothers…celebrate their worth and turn their dreams into reality.”
Currently, Jones’s signature cookie is, “the Chunky B Cookie”. This cookie is made with white chocolate, milk chocolate, walnuts and cranberries.
When asked what it would take to get her foundation to where she would like for it to be, Jones replied, “My mother, Dr. Wannetta Benton, has been a huge inspiration in my life and is my mentor. I watched her raise three girls, and I picked up a few things along the way, like hard work.” Jones continued, “I read that failure is not an option if you believe and push hard enough, and I strongly agree with that.”
As a social entrepreneur, Barra Jones has been an inspiration to many, and we can only expect more things from her and her vision in the near future.
To learn more about “Barra’s Just Homemade Cookies,” check out:
Facebook Page and the Official Site.