I'm, Janice Hardgrove-Kollar, and I've been baking for a long time. And I love it! You could say that I'm a baking addict.
I was a jingle singer/music arranger by trade, singing national TV commercials for a living, as well as scoring national corporate videos. My baking addiction blossomed one day when I was building a recording studio which cost more and more money. Having run out of money for any "extras" like the occasional massage, a friend, Margabandhu, said "You bake, bring me something yummy to sell in my health food store." Well, I brought him a dozen packages of vegan cookies. He sold them in one day, and the rest is history.
That business, Kollar Cookies, turned into a 6000 cookie a week habit, with 4 distributors, covering all of Manhattan and the tristate area for over 12 years. I sold the company and moved on, but Kollar Cookies are still sold throughout the tri-state area. Next was the Pillsbury Bake-off (almost won the whole the damn thing!), to the Food Network, a cookbook agent, and an actual cookbook with Wiley Press! I stepped away from the baking business to work on the book, and a few other things, but baking is in my blood, so right here in Woodstock, I'm back.
When I moved up here 7 years ago, I went on my perpetual quest for tasty baked goods. I noticed that there was not much going on up here, especially as far as cupcakes were concerned. Woodstock needs cupcakes!
And that's why Peace, Love and Cupcakes was created!
A few of my baking highlights include:
I was a finalist in the Pillsbury Bake-Off for my "Thick and Fudgy Triple Chocolate Pudding Cake. Carol Walter, a master baker and cookbook author, awarded me with the First Place Crisco Blue Ribbon for my "Lemon Cloud Pie."
I won the Food Network's title for "Best Cake in the Country" in 2009 for my "Classic Four Layer Chocolate Cake" and had my cupcakes sold at every TGIFriday's around the world for over one year. Plus, I authored a "manly" cupcake book, "The Butch Bakery Cookbook" for Wiley Press. Most recently, 5/25/14, I won on another Food Network program-"Rewrapped." And 8/17/14, I was featured on MSNBC's show "Your Business." I also have another cookbook deal in the works for the shop!.
OH, I haven't stopped singing either. I'm now part of an all-girl folk/rock trio called, would you believe, 'The Cupcakes!, as well as the Dharma Bums, which has toured the world.