Couple’s baking business features cookies and a whole lot more

Tami and Dave Johnson, with their son.
Tami and Dave Johnson, with their son, Michael.

Tami Johnson’s knack for baking great cookies has evolved into a thriving business called Tami’s Sweet Treats. The Linden resident sells hand-crafted cookies, caramel corn and other items at various area farmers’ markets, including those in Hartland, Fenton, Linden and Grand Blanc.

Had it not been for a personal health crisis, though, Tami’s Sweet Treats may have never come to be.

In 2009, Tami was general manager at Border’s in the Great Lakes Crossing mall in Auburn Hills, and mother to a 2-year-old boy. She had a tiny bump on her tongue that she kept expecting to go away. Then, one day while at work, she had an excruciating pain in her ear so bad that she went to the emergency room. That day turned out to be her last at work.

A biopsy revealed that the bump that wouldn’t go away was oral cancer, and most of Tami’s tongue was removed in July 2009, leaving her with very little ability to taste. Reconstructive surgery using muscle, skin and an artery from her left arm gave a substitute tongue that doesn’t move, but is more for cosmetic purposes.

After surgery came radiation and recuperation.

“I sat there for months, not able to do anything,” Tami said. “After I got better, I thought I’d bake some cookies again, and it snowballed from there.”

With the support and help of her husband, Dave, a former Radio Station WHMI 93.5 FM sportscaster, Tami’s Sweet Treats debuted in 2010 at the Fenton and Hartland farmers’ markets with a single 3-foot long table and four kinds of cookies. These days, she’s selling out two 8-foot-long tables with a wide variety of cookies (the best sellers are the Monster, and the traditional Peanut Butter), as well as other food products, including a crowd-pleasing caramel corn “unlike any you’ve had before.”

“The caramel corn sells out all the time,” Tami said. “It’s more like a butter corn puff. I make the caramel for it and it just melts in your mouth. Once someone tries it, they’re hooked.”

She makes the traditional flavor of caramel corn, in addition to chocolate-covered and Chicago-style.

Tami’s Sweet Treats’ line of products includes lots of other items, including hand-made pasta, chocolate-covered pretzels, specially crafted soup mixes, and gift baskets.

Then there are the mix-and-match platters of 5-dozen cookies that serve as perfect client or customer appreciation gifts, and please crowds at special events and parties.

How does one person keep a home-based food business in so many and varied baked goods?

“I’ve got it down to a science,” Tami said. “I spend a couple days prepping, and then I spend one big day baking. To me, it’s not that big of a deal.”

Husband Dave pitches in on the cleaning: “It’s an important part of the process,” he said.

Tami’s doctors have just declared her cured of cancer, which is wonderful news, but now she and Dave find they’ve switched places as he currently undergoes treatment for pancreatic cancer.

“He has a lot ahead of him,” Tami said.

Dave says all he is focusing on right now is his health and the business, including online sales.

For more info

Want to check out all of Tami’s Sweet Treats products? Click here for Tami’s Sweet Treats’ website.

Where can I get some of Tami’s Sweet Treats?

cookie tray• Hartland Farmer’s Market: 9 a.m to 1 p.m. Saturdays, from the second week in May through October, at 9525 East Highland Road (M-59).

• Grand Blanc Farmer’s Market: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays, May through October, on Grand Boulevard, just one block west of Saginaw Street.

• Fenton Farmer’s Market: 5-8 p.m. Thursdays in June, July and August in the parking lot adjacent to the Fenton Cultural and Community Center in downtown Fenton.

• Linden Farmer’s Market: 5-8 p.m. Wednesdays, July and August, on Tickner Street in downtown Linden.

Tami's famous caramel corn
Tami’s famous caramel corn comes in several flavors

Perfect for gift giving, parties, special events

Tami’s Sweet Treats sells popular mix-and-match platters of 5-dozen cookies that serve as perfect client or customer appreciation gifts. They are also crowd pleasers at special events and parties. During the holiday season, Tami’s Sweet Treats sells platters of beautifully hand-crafted Christmas cookies.

Stay in touch

Keep up with Tami’s Sweet Treats on Facebook.

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