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Bakery fundraisers support local libraries, leukemia patient

South Boston News
Annmarie and Donnie Cook / April 01, 2021
In February, the Halifax Farmer’s Market raised over $200 for the Halifax County-South Boston libraries through a Dr. Seuss-themed cake raffle. The cake was donated by Cooks Back Home Bakery in Lynchburg. Now Annmarie Cook, bakery owner, is continuing to give back to the community with a cupcake fundraiser and monies raised once again will be donated to the local libraries.

Annmarie and her husband Donnie Cook moved to Lynchburg in 2012, but her husband’s roots were sown in Halifax County. Every Friday they come to town to visit family after dropping off baked goods with her volunteer Linda Martin to sell on Saturdays at the Halifax Market Place.

“I was raised in the kitchen baking with my mother and grandmother,” said Cook, laughing “I was not outside playing like most kids.”

In 1954, Annmarie’s grandmother, Fenner Cole walked away with six first place ribbons for a baking competition in the New York State Fair. These baking recipes and skills were passed on to her mother, Jacqueline Knickerbocker Cole, and then on to her. Joining the family winners circle, Cook has earned over 30 ribbons in baking competitions.

“I never have to worry how my baking will turnout,” she said. “The recipes are in my head.

“I am so proud to bake these for Linda Martin for the Halifax Market. All my recipes come from my grandmothers and my mom. When we say it’s made from the heart, it is because it’s homemade with me,” said Cook.

These recipes have stood the test of time. In addition to cakes, cupcakes, and cookies, Cook proudly bakes loaves of bread and hot dog buns for local fundraisers too. Cook hopes one day to open a local bakery in Halifax County. Currently, her focus for her home-based bakery is to see businesses and people succeed.

Cook would love to have her bakery in Halifax near the library, “It would be fun to have cupcake day as a reward for returning a book to the library.”

Cook began work in the nursing industry as a charge nurse. She rose through the ranks to become a director of nursing before shifting gears to become a baker.

“Nursing was rewarding, so is baking, and a lot less stressful,” said Cook.

Her husband serves in the military, and while they were stationed in South Korea and Annmarie began baking as a fundraiser for a local orphanage. Eventually she started her first bakery in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. This bakery, too, is called Cooks Back Home Bakery and is still in operation. During the pandemic, Cook made sure to keep surprising the children at the orphanage with many homemade cookies and cakes. Plus she made sure to keep the soldiers bellies full of lasagna and homemade doughnuts.

Several fundraisers are on the books — the first is Easter themed cupcakes: Vanilla bunnies with cream vanilla center, Baby Chick chocolate cupcakes with chocolate fudge center, White Bunny with raspberry filling and German frosting, and Carrot-Cake-Carrots with cream cheese frosting.

Cupcakes are available by the dozen for $10 or six for $5. The pre-order deadline is today by midnight. To place your order call 434-222-6604. All orders will be available for pick-up on Saturday at the Halifax Market Place from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

The next is a cheesecake fundraiser is to support Caroline Laughorn who is battling Leukemia for the third time. Over 60 flavors of cheesecakes are available and orders should be place by May 9.

Plus there is a cake raffle for Mother’s Day that will be held at the Halifax Market Place. More information on this event will be added soon to their Facebook page

All orders may be placed with Denise Barksdale by calling 434-476-2343, in person with Linda Martin at the Halifax Market Place or by contacting Annmarie Cook at Cooks Back Home Bakery.

Cooks Back Home Bakery is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information or to place your order directly call (434) 238-8383. Follow the bakery on Facebook at annsbackhomebakery

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