Founder: Susan O’Keefe
As a stay-at-home mom with three boys, Susan O’Keefe often baked for friends and even local restaurants. But what pushed her from “baker” to “bakery owner” was when she had the opportunity to make homemade cookies for the United Nations: she had to quickly come up with a company name and label. “It was a little bit of luck and timing and hard work,” O’Keefe says. “And then everything kind of just happened.” She sourced vintage equipment to open her bakery—a repurposed oven from a ShopRite in Bedford, NY, two mixers from the early 1960s, even a 1982 Dodge delivery van. And the old-fashioned vibe is the cornerstone of her baking philosophy.“What makes us different is that we make everything from scratch,” she says. “A lot of people say that, but we really do it. It just tastes better.” O’Keefe— who today makes cookies, brownies, pies, muffins and more in her bakery—loves to accommodate requests from customers, including gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, you name it. “I want to be your personal baker who can make whatever you want,” she says. Baked by Susan is sold at Whole Foods and Mrs. Green’s markets, among other purveyors.