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Local bakeshop Urban Cookies Bakeshop co-owned by Shaun and Brady Breese in Phoenix, was one of a handful of United States small businesses that received a grant from Marcus Lemonis, best known for his long-running hit show CNBC’s “The Profit,” and a new show, “Streets of Dreams with Marcus Lemonis.” Lemonis was committed to helping out small businesses in the wake of the pandemic designed to foster a lasting impact across the country through his Lemon Aid Foundation.
In Spring 2021, Lemonis announced on social media that he would be offering small business grants to entrepreneurs looking to grow and establish their businesses. Lemonis awarded Urban Cookies Bakeshop with a $5,000 grant. Instead of using the funds for themselves, Urban Cookies turned the community to pay it forward, eventually selecting the non-profit program For Goodness Cakes. The funds will be used to prepare and deliver fresh birthday cakes for foster children.
“This is huge for us and such a WIN-WIN-WIN!” noted co-owner Shaun Breese. Breese estimates the grant “will cover their costs to bake and deliver more than 160 cakes for foster kids in the Phoenix area.” Breese added that it all started when a customer came in and asked if we had heard of For Goodness Cakes and whether we accept donations for cakes.”
“By partnering with Urban Cookies, we are fortunate to realize our dream of having an impact on Phoenix this year, said Leslie Nilsen, Maricopa County Chapter Lead of For Goodness Cakes. We recently launched our chapter here in Arizona and out of the gate we are pleased to be able to provide more than a hundred cakes to foster children.
As of late 2019 more than 13,000 children are in foster care, with approximately 8,000 of those children located in Maricopa County.
“While this program will help provide a sizable number of cakes, it still represents only two percent of the children in Maricopa County,” said Breese. For eighteen months our community kept us afloat during the lockdown and recovery, the least we could do was to use this money to give back,” Breese added.
“My goal is to keep Main Street USA alive and well during the economic troubles that COVID-19 has brought to our small business owners” said Lemonis. “Helping talented entrepreneurs, particularly women and minorities, who simply haven’t had the same resources and guidance available to them as many of us have. This foundation is here to build a bridge of knowledge and opportunities for those individuals in need of a chance.”
Those familiar with Urban Cookies know that the bakeshop has achieved iconic status, both for the fact it won Food Network’s Cupcake Wars Competition as well as for the numerous awards they have received for entrepreneurship and for their charitable work. The company got its start when the Breese’s hatched a never before conceived plan to start their bakeshop originally out of the kitchens of the women’s charity Florence Crittenton. In return for the free use of the space, the Breese’s provided critical on-the-job experience for women enrolled in the Crittenton program. Since that time they have quietly donated and volunteered for various Phoenix charities.
Throughout the years, Urban Cookies has provided additional job training and mentorship to clients from organizations such as Goodwill of Central Arizona and Southwest Autism Resource and Research Center. In addition, it has provided internship experiences to culinary institute students from across the Valley, allowing them the rare opportunity to learn directly from a small business owner. In 2010, Urban Cookies, in partnership with Shamrock Farms, launched its Milk & Cookies community project. Fulfilling its mission to make people feel good, Urban Cookies’ goal was simply to bring the joy and comfort of milk and cookies to children and families in need.
For more information visit, www.urbancookies.com.
About Marcus Lemonis
In October 2020, Lemonis established the Lemon-AID Foundation with a $50 million pledge aimed at providing greater opportunities for small businesses and underserved communities. Since the inception, close to $3 million dollars has been deployed.
Marcus Lemonis was born in war-torn Beirut, Lebanon in 1973; and, at nine months old, was adopted by a couple living in Miami, Florida. Marcus has long served as the Chairperson at Camping World and Gander RV & Outdoors. With his efforts, it is now America’s #1 source for RVs, camping accessories, RV maintenance and repair. When he’s not running his multibillion-dollar company, Marcus is focusing on his other passion by helping struggling businesses get back on their feet. He shows this process on his hit TV show, CNBC’s The Profit, a past nominee for the 2018 Critic’s Choice Award for Best Structured Reality Series. Although he was not born in America, he is proud to be living the American Dream through hard work, determination and believing. With multiple ventures on his resume, Marcus can be seen sharing his knowledge through numerous business and entertainment television programs and speaking engagements. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Marcus launched The Business Learning Center, a free of charge, educational tool on his website aimed to help entrepreneurs succeed during challenging times. He simultaneously dedicated $50M towards the launch of The Lemon-Aid Foundation, his charitable mission of supporting and investing in underserved communities and small businesses. www.marcuslemonis.com For Media Outlets: Contact Karen Porter [email protected]
About Urban Cookies Bakeshop
Founded in 2005, Urban Cookies Bakeshop is a Phoenix, AZ-based family-owned bakery specializing in made-from-scratch cookies, cupcakes, donuts and cakes. Utilizing only the highest-quality ingredients, its team takes pride in its passion for baking, its unwavering commitment to quality, and its strong belief in making a difference in the local community. Husband and wife team, Brady and Shaun Breese are nearly natives of Phoenix. They attended Arizona State University, graduated in 1998, and married in 2001. In 2005, over a Sunday morning breakfast, they hatched an idea that combined Brady’s cooking talent with Shaun’s marketing background – the centerpiece was the Urban Cookie, a dark chocolate walnut cookie that Shaun made for friends and family for years. After six months of research, their dream became a reality Nov. 1, 2005, in the kitchen of Florence Crittenton, a local non-profit organization. With simplicity and quality as the cornerstones of the business, the couple took their idea to the next level with unique, gift packaging and gourmet all-natural ingredients. The couple’s strong belief in social responsibility also was incorporated into the company.