Cookies and Creativity: A Metroconfection Story

Nov 14, 2017 | Creative Culinary

The husband and wife duo behind Metroconfection are gaining recognition for their  super tasty treats. Since launching their business, the couple has been pushing the boundaries in cookie baking to show that it is not impossible to create something rare and yet savory. Nicknamed “The J’s”, Jay and Jaye Montgomery are all about making their mark in the cookie world and having lots of fun along the way.

Photograph of shoulder bag containing Fel3000ft's Rainy Day Robot design

A cookie layered in pecans and drizzled in caramel. (Photo: The Creative Armory)

an early start

With a background as a professional chef, Jay Montgomery became disgruntled watching her husband consume pack after pack of bland, frozen, ready bake cookies. With the intent of providing a snack of better quality, she began to bake cookies for him from scratch using her own recipes. “When it came to starting this company you can say my husband was my muse,” says Montgomery. “I always thought the cookies he used to eat were so gross!” she laughs. “After mastering a few recipes I started making cookies for friends and family events as well. I always played around with the idea of transitioning into a business, but I worked a full time job and questioned when I would have time for it.”

To gain exposure, the couple took on small gigs and participated in their first pop up shop at a women’s conference in 2016. From there, they signed on to be a part of the summer market offered through Ponyride. “It was a big commitment because it was every month. But I knew this was a platform for us to develop a following and be consistent outside of people we already knew,” said Montgomery.

Photograph of a space theme mural by Fel3000ft found on the Dequindre Cut in Detroit.

One of the many flavors sold by Metroconfection. (Photo: The Creative Armory)

Although the business was registered in 2008, Montgomery explained that she and her husband had to overcome fear and other obstacles in order to keep the business moving forward. “The main reason I didn’t tell anybody about the business when I registered it was due to my fear of failure. I also knew that people would have something negative to say,” she said.

“What we realized is if you let friends or family suffocate your dreams and goals with their opinion, it can really affect you to the point of doing nothing. You have to be protective of your vision and know that not everybody will understand what you are trying to do.” The couple acknowledges that the cookie business is a competitive arena and seizes every opportunity to promote their brand. “After seeing other businesses launch at a small scale I figured it was worth a shot,” said Montgomery. “I told myself if I didn’t try I already failed.”

STAYING UNIQUE AND COMPETITIVE

The team at MetroConfection state that the company is all about creating good quality products that are one of a kind and well enjoyed by their consumers. The duo prides themselves on their ability to just have fun during the creation process and gave insight on what makes them unique in such a competitive market. “Our slogan is ‘Fresh Baked, Nothing Fake’ because our products are made with food ingredients and do not contain superficial ingredients such as preservatives,” said Montgomery.

“Aside from that, we love drawing ideas from regular desserts or a breakfast experience and figuring out how to turn it into a cookie. There isn’t anything we sell that you wouldn’t be able to imagine what it would taste like. While some may call us crazy, our customers have told us that we have some of the most creative cookies they have ever seen. Those types of things keep us going.” she said.

I told myself if I didn’t try I already failed.

-J. Montgomery

Photograph of Fel3000ft spray painting in Eastern Market

(Photo: The Creative Armory)

Handling Idea Overflow

Working in the culinary field requires one to use their creativity when coming up with new dishes and pastries. Since it is viewed as no less than an art form, one can understand how frustrating it is to run low on fresh, new ideas. Montgomery explains that she is not hindered by her ability to develop ideas, but her creative block comes from having too many ideas to execute. “Sometimes I’m stifled by over production of imagination and can’t decide what to do first. I sometimes buy the ingredients to make a new flavor of cookie, and get sidetracked by another new idea,” she said.

Cookie flavors sold by Metroconfection during their visit to Ponyride this past September. (Photo: The Creative Armory)

“Sometimes the creativity is bottlenecked by practicality since there is only so much you can put into a cookie and it still be a cookie.” Montgomery explained that focusing on seasonality also helps to regulate what gets created. “We just shifted from our summer collection which contained flavors such as key lime pie and raspberry cheesecake, to our fall flavors which contain apple pie, banana walnut, and sweet potato brown sugar cookie. I have no problems coming up with new ideas, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to focus and get those ideas executed.” she said.

The ‘Coconut Latte’ cookie by Metroconfection. (Photo: The Creative Armory)

work vs.family life

Currently working as a culinary instructor, Montgomery stated it is tricky at times to find the balance between working two jobs and being married. “It’s a blessing that I am able to work and still do what I love to do. The challenge in being an entrepreneur it that you have to put more time into your own business than a traditional nine to five,” she explained. “With your own business, you are working off-peak hours and have to be flexible in setting up meetings and making deals in between your lunch breaks. It’s not easy, but you have to nurture the business for it to grow.”

She goes on to offer advice for those just starting out as entrepreneurs- “Don’t give up. There are a lot of boundaries you have to cross and obstacles to overcome, but the challenges will be what makes you resilient,” she said. “It’s not about failing, but how you respond to the failure. Keep in mind that failing at one thing does not mean that you should quit everything. Surround yourself with like minded people who can help you on your journey. It’s important to have the right people in the right space in your life.”

Photograph of Fel3000ft working on his latest mural

‘The Beast’ cookie on display for purchase. (Photo: The Creative Armory)

FUTURE PLANS

As far as next steps for Metroconfection, Montgomery is excited that the company is headed in the right direction. “We will be participating in the holiday market at Ponyride on December 8-9. We also have a few private events that we’ve been booked for.” Just recently the duo completed their commercial kitchen certification which makes them a licensed, insured, and fully commercial manufacturer.

“With that, we are in the process of launching our online business so that we can begin shipping our products in and out of the state. We’re very happy about that,” said Montgomery. “Eventually, I would like for our business to be an institution in Detroit; a community-centric place where people can come knowing they will be treated with proper customer service. We want them to leave the building feeling better than when they came.”

Photograph of Fel3000ft putting the final touches on his latest work

The Metroconfection team at Ponyride this past September. (Photo: The Creative Armory)

Want to experience more savory flavors by Metroconfection? Check out their website here.

Have a favorite flavor? Share with us in the comments!

2 Comments

  1. J

    Dope!

    Reply
  2. Marielos chan

    Great job writing this article!
    What you are doing for small businesses is truly a blessing. You are providing a platform, a stage if you will, for them to highlight their businesses. The exposure that you are giving them is truly priceless!

    As for the “J’s”, what can I say? They truly are the best cookies in Detroit. I am fortunate to have worked alongside one of the most talented chefs I have ever worked with. Although those were some “pickling ” times, I was able to admire the work and affinity for balance of taste from a truly admirable chef. Keep doing what you are doing!

    Both of you are simply amazing! ♡

    Reply

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