Meet a Mom: Cathy Blatnik, Baked Goods By Dominic | Greater Lansing Area Moms

GLAMoms Meet a Mom this week is Cathy Blatnik.  This mom is B-U-S-Y!  Cathy is the owner of Baked Goods By Dominic – a business idea she had when her son was working to make a connection with his speech therapist during virtual visits.  Dominic would bake cookies for his speech therapist and she would pay him.

After some research, lots and lots of baking and a class through the MSU Extension Program – the rest is history – Baked Goods By Dominic opened November 2020.

A bit about Dominic.  He has baked alongside his mom since he was a toddler!  He has Autism, ADHD, Anxiety Disorder and Epilepsy.  His mom and Baked Goods By Dominic together are working to give him the life-skills to run the business one day and to also employ others!

Welcome to Greater Lansing Area Moms, Cathy we are so glad you are here! 

Dominic’s graduation, 2022

Cathy – please introduce yourself to Greater Lansing Area Moms!

I lived in Maryland for close to 40 years and moved to Okemos, Michigan in December 2001, when my husband got a job in Lansing. I received a B.S. in Business and Management in 1995 from the University of Maryland – Global Campus and have been a stay-at-home mom since May of 1996 when my daughter Lauren was born. 

I belong to nine disability organizations in the Mid-Michigan Community. I am a five-year Malignant Melanoma Cancer survivor. Wear your sunscreen!!

How old are your children? 

My stepson is 38 and lives in California with his wife; Lauren is 26 and Dominic is 17.

Sum up being a mom in one word! 

Blessed!

Lauren at her college graduation from Grand Valley State University in 2018

What is a piece of advice for new moms you wish you would have known when you were a new mom? 

Don’t compare yourself to other moms!

Please tell us more about Baked Goods By Dominic! 

Baked Goods By Dominic is a Michigan Cottage Food Business that we started in November 2020. A Michigan Cottage Food Business is not inspected by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, which means you can bake in your home kitchen. 

We currently make 25 different types of baked goods. As of the end of June, we have filled 242 orders. This business is teaching Dominic a lot of life skills necessary for him to run the business (baking, delivering, inputting orders into an Excel Spreadsheet, etc.). 

Our long-range goal is to have a brick-and-mortar building and only employ those with disabilities, especially those with the most severe disabilities. 

Dominic and Lauren

We would love to learn more about Dominic!  

Dominic was born in July of 2004. He was diagnosed with Autism at 2½,  ADHD and Anxiety Disorder at 3 and Complex Partial Epilepsy at 13. He has been in the Special Education Program in the Okemos School System since he was 3. He just “walked” with his graduating class at Okemos High School on June 5, 2022. 

He will continue in a Special Education Program at Okemos High School in August 2022. His receptive language is fine, his expressive language is not, in other words, he understands everything we say, he just can’t answer us back most of the time. 

What led you to opening an in-home bakery?

When Dominic went from one day a week of private speech therapy to two days a week of private speech therapy early in the Pandemic, “Miss Mary,” his private speech therapist worked very hard with Dominic on him making the connection when he baked cookies for her.  And she would pay him. 

It got me thinking about whether we could bake out of our home and sell our products to other people. I did a bunch of research about the Michigan Cottage Food Law (lots of rules and regulations) and took a free class through the MSU Extension Program. By the time we got into November, I felt confident enough to give it a try, even though I had never done anything like this, ever! 

What is the #paythecookiesforward Loyalty Program? 

Every five orders a customer makes, we bake one dozen chocolate chip cookies and deliver them to the business/organization of the customer’s choice. 

I feel that Dominic has been so embraced and loved by the local community, it’s our small way of giving back.  So far, we have eight customers that have ordered five times or more!!

When did Dominic start baking? 

Dominic has been baking alongside me since he was a toddler.  

What is Dominic’s favorite cookie? 

Chocolate chip cookies with milk chocolate chips.

The Baked Goods By Dominic logo – tell us more!  

The Baked Goods By Dominic and the #paythecookiesforward Loyalty Program logos were done with assistance from a local artist named Matt Mulford. He has a shop – Mulford Arts – in Williamston. Dominic has gone every Friday since August of 2020 for private art lessons. 

Dominic on the cover of the Lansing State Journal

You are the President of the Mid-Michigan Autism Association!  Please share more about this non-profit organization! 

The Mid-Michigan Autism Association was founded in 2008, by families, advocates and professionals to “improve the quality of life for individuals on the Autism Spectrum and their families, by providing support, resources and opportunities within the Mid-Michigan community.” We are Autism-Driven, not Autism-Specific. We sponsor free activities and events for all in the disability community.  I have been on the Board of Directors for seven years and am going into my third year as President.

What are you looking forward to in the second half of 2022? 

My husband is turning 70 in November and also retiring from his job at the end of 2022. My stepson and his wife are flying to Michigan to celebrate with us!  

How do you balance it all? 

I make a lot of lists!

Anything else you would like to share with GLAMoms?

Through the baking business, we have built a community that surrounds him with love, support and kindness.  Just last week, we were honored to get a special tour of the LorAnn Oils, a manufacturer of top-quality concentrated flavorings, essential oils, and vanilla extracts for baking and candy making based in Lansing

Mandy, who works in the marketing department at LorAnn Oils, had reached out to me saying she had been following Dominic’s story for a while and she wanted to give us free samples of their products and give us a tour. Of course, we had to take them some of Dominic’s baked goods! The photo below is from our visit!

LorAnn Oils visit last week!

Here are a couple questions to get to know you better 🙂  

What gets you up in the morning? An alarm clock.  

And how do you take your coffee? I like coffee with my creamer 😊

Last book you read?  Back to the Prairie: A Home Remade; a Life Rediscovered. Melissa Gilbert. I LOVED the Little House on the Prairie books and the television show

What is your favorite show? Perry Mason (the old series that was on from 1957-1966)

What is YOUR favorite cookie flavor?  Chocolate chip with pecans

Cathy, thank you so much for sharing some of your story!  Baked Good By Dominic is amazing and we are honored to have you as our GLAMoms Meet a Mom this week!  🥰

How do you prefer readers to connect with you if they would like more information?  

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: Baked Goods By Dominic 

Cathy Blatnik’s Meet a Mom feature was brought to you by Boji Group.  Boji Group specializes in Private-Public Partnerships, has offices in both Lansing and Birmingham and is headquartered in downtown Lansing.

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