There’s the saying that if cooking is an art, then baking is an exact science, where any miscalculation could result in a collapsed cake or rock-hard cookies. But don’t tell that to Robin Stanton of GetMoMuffins.
“I can’t follow a baking recipe to save my life,” says Stanton, who runs her small baked goods delivery business with her two teen daughters.
After years of moving around for advertising and marketing jobs, the Pittsburgh native returned to her hometown in 2012, looking for a new career path. Not long after, she started freewheeling her way through muffins, cake donuts, and other baked goods, and with the help of a contact at Pittsburgh Public Market, went through the process of getting the required business permits. She now works out of a commercial kitchen in Carnegie, Pa., and takes orders online, which she then delivers to customers as far away as Butler, Pa.
The direction is surprising considering she has no previous culinary or catering experience, not to mention a family with little interest in many of the products GetMo specializes in.
“We’re not very big sweet eaters, so when I would make cookies, brownies, and stuff like that, we’d eat it the day it was made, and then we just wouldn’t touch it again,” she says. She tried making goodies that would not go to waste, and one of her creations, candy cane muffins, was a hit.
With GetMo, she branches into different sweet and savory muffins, combining classics like chocolate chip and blueberry with more experimental flavors. On any given week, customers might find filled muffins featuring middles of peach marmalade, s’mores, caramel, or jalapeno jelly, or what she calls “dinner muffins” made with parmesan cheese and black peppercorn, or kale and bacon.
But baking to the beat of her own drum has also resulted in outcomes, both intentional and accidental, that make GetMo so distinct. To avoid paying the high cost for eggs, Stanton found a way to make many of her offerings — including the muffins — without the staple ingredient. Her signature granola — an uncharacteristically soft, crumbly mix of cinnamon, cashews, almonds, dark chocolate, and cranberries — was a happy mistake.
“I didn’t follow something correctly,” she says. “I didn’t bake it as long as I was supposed to. It was a hot mess.”
Her business model also veers away from the brick-and-mortar model familiar to most bakeries. Since GetMo started, Stanton has seen a demand for delivered catering, especially with business clients tired of the same old franchise donuts or sandwiches provided at breakfast or lunch meetings. Now she gets consistent orders that could range up to a couple hundred breakfast boxes, which contain regular or gluten-free muffins and a serving of yogurt and granola. GetMo also carries sandwiches for breakfast and lunch, and tater tots smothered in a variety of toppings.
But as Stanton puts it, she doesn’t limit herself to large catering for business clients.
“I like to be accessible for everyone,” she says. “If a person at home just wants to order something for themselves, I’ll do that, too.”
She adds that customers often order food as gifts for people who are homebound due to an illness, injury, or a new baby.
Besides personally delivering every order, she also tries to keep her prices reasonable (the meal boxes usually cost less than $10), so anyone can enjoy a muffin or sandwich.
“I really like it, and my goal was always that everyone should be able to eat no matter what their situation is,” she says.