Ridgefield baker chips in to benefit Meals on Wheels from her home kitchen

RIDGEFIELD — A local baker is starting the new year on a sweet note by giving back to an organization that delivers meals to residents in need.

This month, Stacey Sussman, owner of Stacey’s Totally Baked, is donating $10 from each box of cookies she sells to Meals on Wheels of Ridgefield. Her homemade cookies will also be included in the nonprofit’s deliveries later this month.

Sussman started the business as a part-time gig six years ago to foster a longtime love of baking. In October 2020, she left her corporate marketing job to bake out of her home kitchen full-time.

Sussman specializes in custom, from-scratch cakes made from the freshest, most natural ingredients, she said. The fondant and buttercream are also made in-house. Her other offerings include a sumptuous selection of cookies, coffee cake, cake jars, babka and mandel bread.

“I like to recreate my favorites and offer them to customers,” she said. “When you make them from love they taste delicious.”

The business has taken over every corner of Sussman’s house, she said. Every morning she rolls a large stand mixer into the kitchen to begin baking. She uses two ovens to crank out mass quantities of sweet treats, which are then placed on a rack in the dining room to cool.

Sussman enlists the help of her husband, Adam, and her children, Hannah and Milo, to help with other aspects of the business. During the warmer months, Totally Baked sets up tables at local fairs, farmers markets and festivals to entice those with a sweet tooth.

“My daughter runs the fairs,” Sussman said, beaming.

One of Sussman’s goals for 2022 is to select a local charity to benefit from her baked goods.

“I have done other giveback campaigns … for the PTA at Ridgebury (and) The Trevor Project,” she said. “Meals on Wheels popped into my head as an obvious choice.”

The nonprofit provides free meals to any Ridgefielder who cannot cook for themselves, including seniors, disabled and infirm individuals and those recovering from surgery or illness. Recipients will receive one of Sussman’s specialty cookies in their meal deliveries later this month.

The community can also get in on the cause by ordering a box of a dozen cookies, which customers can customize to their liking. Selections include chocolate chip, salted caramel pretzel, s’mores, sprinkle, oatmeal raisin, oatmeal M&M, peanut butter fudge and brookie (a brownie and cookie combo).

Customers can choose up to four flavors per box, which Sussman will personally deliver between Jan. 28-30 within Ridgefield. For every $30 box purchased, she will donate $10 to Meals on Wheels. Orders can be placed through Jan. 25 at www.staceystotallybaked.com/mowcookies.

“This community has … allowed me to grow and do what I love, so I really want to give back to them,” she said.