Ever since she was little, Pennington resident Dana Moss has been passionate about baking and cooking.
She’s spent her life doing it with her family, and despite that passion, it wasn’t until recent years that she was able to turn it into a business and live out her dreams of owning her own creative business. Always considering herself an artist, she wanted to pursue a career where she could own her own creative business.
“I started probably about 10 years ago, just making it for my own kids or family members. I would make things just for fun, I’m an artist as well, not only do I bake but I really take the time to do fun colors and just make my products fun,” she said.
Before she started her new dream business, she worked as a teacher. It wasn’t until she moved to Pennington from Florida during the pandemic, that she took a chance to pursue the career she had always dreamed of and opened up Dana Does Desserts from her own home.
Since 2020, Moss, 43, has been pursuing her dream career of running her own business baking and cooking deserts from her own home. Customers can order from her online menu or call her to set up an order. Moss fully specializes these cakes, cookies, chocolates and more in any way that her customers would like, even able to work with vegan and gluten-free substitutes. Since she is working from her own home, she is baking every day, making treats to satisfy her customers.
“When I moved to New Jersey a couple of years ago, I couldn’t move with my job so I was unemployed. And of course, it was Covid, so I said to myself, I always bake and I love what I do this is a passion of mine, maybe I could start advertising,” she said.
One of the things that makes Moss’ business unusual is that she started this business right out of her own home. She is lucky enough that her home actually has a side apartment with a kitchen, so she was able to turn that into her own personal studio to work out of. It makes everything very convenient for her since she’s able to work late without worrying about a commute.
The only negative part about working from home, for Moss, is not having a physical store to operate from, and that’s something she’s working toward.
“It would be nice if I had a storefront, unless I advertise nobody is going to know my business is here,” she said, adding, “If I had a small bakery, they would see it in town. Maybe people would want to stop in to get something and get that random business from a good location.”
Moss has an ever-changing featured menu with each holiday. She makes sure to theme her desserts to each event in very fun ways.
For holiday treats, she goes all out and makes sure that everything from the dessert’s design to the packaging itself fits the theme. Take Easter, for example: her Cake Pops will be chick cake pops, and she’ll make a cake with peeps around it, the plain silver packaging replaced with an Easter basket. She likes to make the dessert fun, and that includes the packaging.
“Whenever there’s a holiday, I always do special treats. I’m open year-round and just because I’m posting a special holiday treat, I can still do anything else you need to be made. But for the holiday, I like to do something fun!”
Something that Dana prides herself in is her ability to customize the desserts to people’s liking. She looks to be flexible in terms of what she can make. With any of the desserts on her website, if she can customize it for a customer, she will. A Nestle Crunch cake can easily turn into an M&M cake, if that’s what the customer would prefer.
Something she has a lot of experience with are vegan and gluten-free options, as she grew up with a gluten-free brother and vegetarian mother, so she knows how to work with substitutions.
“If you see something on the website I can make that using other vegan and gluten-free options as well,” she said, adding that “I’ve even had to do both vegan and gluten-free, and he said it was amazing!”
Moss said she has been thinking of innovative ways to get her business out there while helping people at the same time, and one of those ways has been with fundraising. She sells her desserts with 20% of all the profits going towards the PTO. It’s a way to get her business out there while also helping other people, which is very important to her.
“I even started doing fundraising, recently there were a couple of school events I helped out with the PTO. I give a percentage of the sale back to the school and it also helps my business, I’m trying to think of creative ways to help other people and get the word out about my business,” she said.
Moss is originally from Massachusetts. She has two daughters, Bella and Ava, who both love to dance, run track, play tennis, and of course bake with their mom.
She is married to her husband, Adam, and when she isn’t baking, she’s tutoring students online. She also enjoys art and painting and running marathons.
While she’s working towards opening up her own physical bakery, another goal she is trying to achieve is to work with bigger businesses for her. She said she’d “also love to grow my business more for people and events and businesses, I’d like to get into that some more.”
If you are interested in contacting Dana or ordering some of her delicious desserts, the best way to reach her is by calling her at 845-826-4585. She has a website with her current featured items and more information about it all which is at danadoesdesserts.com.