The founder and president of Sugaree’s Bakery, Mary Jennifer Russell, has been named the Mississippi Small Business Person of the Year by the Small Business Association.
This announcement comes shortly after the town of New Albany, where the bakery has its headquarters, was named the “America’s Best Southern Small Town” by USA Today.
‘’She [Mary Jennifer Russel] has demonstrated the best of the best of being an entrepreneur! Mary Jennifer was able to take her vision and grow it into the successful business she has today right there in her very own hometown. She’s demonstrated the necessary business growth, increase in number of employees and is intricately involved in the community,” said Janita R. Stewart, District Director of SBA Mississippi District Office.
Sugaree’s Bakery which started in 1997 in Russell’s home has turned into a 35 person operation, making more than 1,000 cakes weekly. The cakes are sold online, retail, wholesale and for fundraising purposes. According to a press release by the SBA, Sugaree’s has been featured in Oprah Magazine, Southern Living, New York Times and the Huffington Post.
Recipients of the award “first need to be nominated to SBA for consideration of this recognition. Self-nominations are also acceptable. Strong candidates for this ‘top’ SBA Small Business Week award should be someone that owns/operates a small business that has exemplified growth in sales/revenues, created/retained jobs in their community, has introduced an innovative product or service, has overcome adversity and/or has contributed to the betterment of their respective community, said Stewart”