Richmonder’s baking passion turns into burgeoning family business during the holiday
Ronald E. Carrington | 12/16/2021, 6 p.m.
It’s holiday time — a time for family and friends and to give thanks for blessings of the past year.
Richmonder Linda Shaw is doing just that — giving thanks as she makes memories and money with her LindaGrams, a trademarked graham cracker-based cookie she created and now sells online and in pop-up events.
Mrs. Shaw fell in love with baking cookies at age 12. Since then, she has been making treats for family events and to give as gifts to friends.
With the push of her adult children, Mrs. Shaw decided to put her LindaGrams on the market. In May, she sold them at the RVA Black Farmers Market and discovered her tasty treats were a hit with the public.
Her effort is now a family affair, with the LindaGrams team consisting of her husband, Lionel, and three children, Raymond, 41; David, 35; and Maya, 28. Each has a specific task and helps in the collective effort to get the product to market. Raymond and Maya are responsible for marketing, branding, package design and social media, while David, a chef, supervises baking and tasting. Mr. Shaw is the utility player, doing a bit of everything.
For Mrs. Shaw, who retired as a human resources administrator four years ago, the growing family business keeps her connected to her children and her blessings, particularly after the nearly two-year isolation of the pandemic.
“The cookie business has grown over the last few months and is more that I anticipated,” Mrs. Shaw said. She said she is surprised by the swath of people interested in her LindaGrams. She said the process of starting her own business has been invigorating.
“This has been a great opportunity since this is something I have been passionate about and enjoy doing,” Mrs. Shaw said.
She has reached out to business organizations and other professionals for direction and insight and applied for business grants as well as paying food competitions to help build her company’s future.
“I am experimenting with vegan recipes, using pretzels instead of nuts for people with nut allergies, as well as LindaGrams cheesecake,” Mrs. Shaw said.
She is working to get Linda- Grams on the shelves in local shops and on the dessert menu at area restaurants. Her business has picked up, too, as the holidays approach.
She said the last few months have been a wonderful experience for her and her family.
“As we sit together to bake, package or pack up to go to an event, everybody as a piece of the LindaGrams pie. That has been wonderful,” she said.
“This venture is very exciting. Everyone’s support has inspired me.”