When the ice cream truck stopped visiting her Atlantic City neighborhood about 20 years ago, Bonnie Davis didn’t just wonder why. She jumped on an opportunity.
Davis started making and selling treats to kids from her Bright’s Villa apartment near the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School Complex.
The single mom of two boys made her own ice cream and baked “monster-sized chocolate chip cookies,” she said. She sold her homemade ice cream sandwiches for $1 each.
To get the word out, she enlisted the help of her youngest son, then a preschooler.
“I told him to take one and go out into the neighborhood and eat it,” she said. It was a great marketing ploy, and soon there was also a demand for her brownies, cookies and yogurt pops.
“Three whole summers that kept me afloat,” Davis said.
She still meets young adults who say, “‘Ms. Bonnie, I used to come up on your porch and get cookies,’” she said. She might not recognize them, but when they mention the porch, she knows they were her customers.
After getting her culinary degree at Atlantic Cape Community College and working for casino pastry chefs and in other casino cooking jobs, Davis felt the need for more job security and found work with the Atlantic City School District. First she was a classroom aide, and now she is a full-time custodian, she said.
But she kept on baking and now runs a small business called Ms. Bonnie’s Cookie Jar. Baking is a talent she credits to her grandmother, Marie Scott, of Atlantic City, who died in 1998.
Now, William Merrill, 25, the son who helped her market her goodies by tempting his playmates with them, has a fine arts business and marketing degree and is helping market her baked goods through social media. He lives in Atlanta.
Her oldest son, Schuyler Davis, 38, is an Atlantic City police officer who has two children, daughter Skylar, 14; and son Storm, 13.
As a single mom, Davis said help from her family made all the difference. Her parents, Walter and Jeanne Davis, of Manahawkin; and her grandmother helped with babysitting so she could get her degree and work, she said.
Government programs that helped her pay for her culinary degree were also important, she said.
For more on the offerings of Ms. Bonnie's Cookie Jar, such as peach cobbler, double-chocolate brownies and four-layer banana coffee cake, visit http://pinsta.me/msbonnied/. Email Davis at email@example.com.
About 590 kids made stomp rockets recently at the Vineland YMCA’s Afterschool program as part of National Youth Science Day, organized locally by the YMCA and Cumberland County 4-H.
The children attached an aerodynamic rocket to PVC piping, which was attached to a flexible bottle. When the bottle was stomped, the air from the bottle traveled through the piping and forced the rocket into flight, according to the YMCA.
2 join MBCA board
The Board of the Metropolitan Business and Citizens Association has elected Pamela Blue, of Mays Landing, senior vice president of PNC Bank; and Greg Fuller, of Brigantine, vice president of commercial lending portfolio manager at Cape Bank, to the executive board.
They will be installed by Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson at the 24th annual Installation/Awards Dinner on Oct. 27 at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. Visit mbcanj.com.
2 local women
to be honored
South Jersey Gas General Counsel Gina Merritt Epps and 1955 Olympics qualifier and Bridgeton School District educator and coach Annie Williams Wright are among 13 African-American women to be honored at the 11th annual African American Women Achievers celebration 4 p.m. Nov. 2 at Auletto’s Catering in Deptford Township, Gloucester County.
The Kappa Community Development Corp. event is in partnership with the Burlington-Camden Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. The other honorees are from Pennsylvania and other parts of New Jersey.
Tickets are $65. Call 609-634-5551 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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