Client Spotlight: Sugar Mama Cookie Company

Like many entrepreneurs, Vicki Melo started her business out of her home. What began as a simple accommodation for her daughter who prefers cookies over cake, turned into a brand, a storefront, and a team of staff.  

“I’m an extremely ambitious woman so when I saw an entrepreneurial opportunity with what I was doing, I dove in.” Vicki said.  

On her middle daughter’s first birthday, Vicki made painted sugar cookies for her party, instead of a birthday cake. “A friend at the party asked me to make some for her kid’s birthday, and then someone from that party asked me to do the same…” Vicki said. “A year later, I found myself baking and decorating cookies nearly every night after I put my kids to bed.” 

Vicki started by mainly selling custom decorated sugar cookies for pick up. She then grew it to become a city-wide cookie delivery service, employing eight women and leasing a commercial kitchen space.  

“Our demand had reached a point where the business was able to sustain its own brick and mortar shop, but I just didn’t have the funds to get it off the ground,” she said. “Opening up my own shop was the biggest financial risk and commitment I had ever taken on, and I knew I needed help from WECM to make it happen.” 

She opened her storefront in St. Boniface with the RRRF loan she acquired through WECM in 2021, where she now offers 15 flavours of cookies, custom orders, catering, and even a cookie subscription box service.  

“Opening a brand-new bakery and a café costs A LOT of money, especially during a time when the cost of everything was rapidly increasing,” Vicki said. “Sugar Mama wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for WECM’s help to complete renovations and purchase the necessary equipment immediately and which I can now pay off [in a way that works] with my business finances.” 

Vicki says running her business has been challenging, with lots of ups and downs – especially as a mother – but the support and loyalty of Winnipeggers has been a constant.  

“Opening a business is hard, and scary, and a huge risk, and that often stops women from following their dreams, which is really sad,” Vicki said. “WECM is so wonderful because with their advice, financing and support, it helps women like me push past those barriers of fear and achieve the success they’re after.” 

Vicki says her “Big Scary Dream” is to open Sugar Mama locations across Canada and donate a portion of all proceeds to help other women entrepreneurs – specifically those who are also mothers – reach their business goals.  

“I love running a business and being an entrepreneur,” Vicki said. “I love pushing past my own perceived limitations and taking big risks. I love growth and creating something from nothing. I love the ability to be a leader and a mentor for all the young women who work for me, and I especially love and am always striving to have more positive impact in the world.” 

Sugar Mama Cookie Company is open Monday – Saturday from 10 AM – 6 PM at 184 Provencher Blvd.