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Why the Super Bowl Is Big for Small Business

Make My Cake
Harlem, N.Y.

Aliyyah Baylor's family-owned bakery Make My Cake is providing 1,500 black and white cookies for the official Super Bowl tailgate party.

She got the contract for the cookies by applying through the Super Bowl Host Committee's Business Connect program, which fosters relationships between local women-owned and minority-owned businesses and the NFL and Super Bowl vendors.

Make My Cake specializes in Southern desserts and decorated cakes. It now has two locations - one that serves as the retail shop and cafe, and one that produces wholesale. Baylor, whose mother started the business out of her home 17 years ago, says the contract was easy to obtain and a validation of their family's business.

Winning the contract also means Baylor can showcase her business as a Super Bowl business, further incentivizing other customers to do business with them.

"The experience has been very positive," said Baylor, president of Make My Cake. "Once you start submitting the paperwork -- I haven't done it on that scale -- but it's encouraging to definitely seek those opportunities again. So I definitely would do it again."

With three full-time bakers, Baylor says the contract with the Super Bowl has allowed her to bring one part-time worker up to full time as well as another part-time worker.

"Usually we do a lot of seasonal [business]," she says, requiring them to hire temporary workers. Now, the two jobs she added are now permanent hires.

The Host Committee was looking for authentic New York-New Jersey desserts. "We bid to have that as one of the desserts," she stated. Baker and two team members will deliver the cookies the night before the event and then be a part of the event staff to help hand out cookies.

"It all adds to the excitement," she exclaimed. "It's wonderful to be a part of this!"

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