Honey Ogens in kitchen.
Honey Ogens launched the Honey Bee Baking Company last year from her Glenolden Drive home. She began baking many years ago because it made her feel relaxed and happy. When her children, Matt and Elissa came home from school, she always had home-baked goods ready for them.
Even though she was working with her husband, attorney Ronald Ogens, she made the time to surprise a sick neighbor, friend or someone celebrating a special occasion with a homemade coffee cake, cookies or other baked treat.
"I express my feelings through baking. I always feel a sense of pride and pleasure when someone enjoys my finished product. Baking is immensely satisfying and comforting," she said.
Last year, at the urging of friends and family, she founded the Honey Bee Baking Company and began selling her creations to the public. News of her business spread through word of mouth and she now delivers at least 10 orders a week — and the orders are coming in more and more frequently.
Coffee cake is her signature item. The 16"x 5" rectangular loaf is served on a plate wrapped with cellophane and ribbons — ready to be gifted or served. The shape, size and presentation make it different from any other coffee cake. Other specialties are banana cake, lemon cake with fresh lemons, almond macaroons, cranberry-orange scones and many varieties of cookies and cupcakes. Ogens is more than happy to bake special requests.
"Every time I bake for someone, I feel as if I am giving a part of my heart to them."
— Honey Ogens
Ogens explains her philosophy of baking: "I want everything to taste fabulous. I use the freshest of eggs, real butter, sugar — my desserts are definitely not low-fat. But these are the ingredients that make everything really yummy. It’s definitely all about the ingredients and creating a homey-tasting cake or cookies." Her husband Ronald, daughter Elissa Schwartz, her mah jong friends — and even the workmen remodeling her home are taste testers. "I get new recipes from everywhere — the Food Network, the internet — I read cookbooks like other people read novels. If I eat a fabulous dessert in a restaurant, I ask for the recipe — and they usually share it with me!"
One of Ogens’ favorite baking partners is her 5-year-old granddaughter, Chloe. "Since Chloe is allergic to dairy products and eggs, I have had to research to find special recipes. I actually have one for cupcakes that is excellent — and uses vinegar and margarine instead of butter and eggs. Chloe calls me Bubboo — and always loves making a treat that she can eat."
Some baking tips from Ogens are: "Use an ice cream scoop for making uniform cookies. Always cut brownies with a plastic knife — and put a lot of love in everything you bake."
Ogens plans to continue growing her business. The cakes and other specialty baked goods can be ordered from Ogens by calling 301-299-5501 (home) or 301-706-9855 (cell). The large coffee cake is $40, cupcakes are $1.50 each and challah bread is $10 a loaf. She also creates home-made birthday cakes and cupcakes. Orders can be placed at email@example.com, but Ogens would prefer to discuss requests by telephone in order to make them as special as possible.