Ask any good Southern what their favorite food is, and the response will probably start with “my grandmother’s______.” For Jennifer Green, founder and owner of G’s Apple Dreams, her grandmother’s applesauce cake is more than a memory, it’s an opportunity.
Growing up Jennifer and her sister would spend weekends at her grandmother’s farm in Irondale, Alabama, where they would pick apples and enjoy Granny’s prized applesauce cake. After losing her grandmother to Alzheimer’s disease in 1997, Jennifer was asked by her father to try to recreate the favorite dessert. Over 400 cakes and nearly a year of testing led Jennifer to the formula for her “Simply Amazing Applesauce Muffins,” and the idea for G’s Apple Dreams was born.
It wasn’t an easy start though, for the single mother of two. “Starting this in this economy, it was a leap of faith,” Jennifer says. With the support of her family and her kids as taste testers, Jennifer began baking and hunting down every opportunity to sell her muffins.
Following a successful run at Alabama Goods in downtown Homewood, Jennifer took her product to the grocery stores. Her mini muffins are now available in the freezer section at 18 Birmingham area locations, including Piggly Wiggly stores and Western Supermarkets.
The muffins are a lighter version of the original applesauce cake. Made without eggs or preservatives, they have only 60 calories and one gram of saturated fat each, so “you can have a few muffins, and you haven’t overdone it,” she says. Although only the original version is currently available in stores, Jennifer says that a gluten-free version is coming soon. Inside each pack of homemade muffins is a recipe for Granny’s Bread Pudding, a light dessert made with the muffins.
Jennifer’s motivation comes from the desire to memorialize her grandmother by introducing people to her applesauce cake recipe, as well as giving to Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama. “Every day is a fundraiser,” and “every sale counts,” Jennifer says. A portion of the sale of each pack of muffins goes to support the organization, which provides assistance to patients and caregivers in 21 counties in the state.
So what’s next on the horizon? Jennifer moved her operations to a kitchen space in Homewood in August and partnered with a distributor. No longer having to spend her time being “the delivery girl,” Jennifer hit the road, pitching her product to stores across the state. Thanks to her persistence and passion, “Simply Amazing Applesauce Muffins” are now in stores from Huntsville, Alabama, to Destin, Florida.
With the memory of her Granny and the support of her family and community, there’s sure to be more to the story of Jennifer Green and G’s Apple Dreams. As Jennifer says, “Dreams can come true – you just have to believe!”