My Story: How We Started a Family Business

My Story: How We Started a Family Business

When retired public school teacher Jackie Burke told her daughter that all of her savings were lost in the stock market, her daughter had an idea: let's start a family business. Jackie Burke and her daughter Jackie McAlister did just that with The Cup and Saucer Cookie Company.


Daughter: My mom has spent her whole life taking very good care of our family. In January of 2009, mom came to me saying that she had lost so much money in the stock market that she was going to have to go to Borders bookstore to see if they were hiring.

Mom: Well, our investments took a dive just like everybody else's. But this is what I was using to live on. I had planned on living on my retirement investments for the rest of my life.

Daughter: So instead of mom going back to work, we decided we should team up and start a business.

Mom: And what we could do together was bake cookies –really good cookies.

Daughter: So, we decided to form The Cup and Saucer Cookie Company. The very first step we took was to go to LegalZoom. Without LegalZoom, we would not have even known where to start. Mom and I didn't have any business experience, we didn't have any experience creating a website or selling any products, but with LegalZoom's help, we were able to incorporate and start our business.

Mom: LegalZoom really gave us a great start.



Daughter: After we started our company and got our Incorporation papers, we started a website and were up and running. We've been functional since Feb. of 2009 and we've been selling cookies online. Mom and I even went door to door to try to get people to buy our cookies or to sell our cookies on consignment because we knew that in this economy the only way we were going to get any help was to help ourselves.

Mom: It's a pretty decent business.

Daughter: Well, it's an ok business.

Both: (laughing)

Mom: but we're trying…



Daughter: Our next goal with our company is to try to start donating because we want to give back. Our experience has been about so much more than just selling cookies. We've gotten emails from all over the country.

Mom: They have really encouraged us, not only by buying cookies, but by their letters. We have saved all the letters that we've gotten and they are very sweet to read again and again and again. It's so encouraging. When we know that we've inspired someone, believe me, they've inspire us right back.

Daughter: Mom is a retired school teacher and I'm a school teacher on maternity leave. Because we've spent our lives in public education, we figure we can use our experience as inspiration to the students. We've always taught them to persevere in difficult times and that's the lesson that we're trying to live –for our children and our students.

Mom: And they get to eat some of the cookies besides…cookies are good for everybody.

Daughter: We're hoping to help inspire people out there who are suffering through the same economy that we are.

Mom: Lots of people do things – they knit, they sew, they paint pictures and they all can make a go of it if they use LegalZoom.

Daughter: So hopefully our story will inspire everyone out there to try something either to help themselves or help their family or—

Mom: —help others.

Daughter: And together we can all get through this.


For more information, please visit:

The Cup and Saucer Cookie Company


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