By Katie Bohannon, News Editor
A sweet new shop just expanded to the Briarmeade Shopping Center in Glencoe.
Following its prominent presence in the community, Twelve Baskets Bakery now caters to customers in its beautiful brick and mortar building at 526 Main Street West, serving kindness and joy with each delicious treat.
Twelve Baskets Bakery began in 2016 when Roger Mizell encouraged his wife, Maghan, to pursue a newfound passion of hers – baking. Originally from Gadsden, Maghan moved to Dallas, Texas at the age of 10 before returning to Alabama in her late twenties, where she advanced in her career as a radiographer. A Glencoe High School graduate, Roger also works in the medical field, serving as the supervisor of the nuclear medical department at Anniston Regional Hospital for the past 29 years.
While the couple dedicated themselves to caring for others in the medical field as their initial professions, Maghan’s love of cooking coincided with her love for her family to spark the beloved bakery that thrives today. She discovered an interest in baking for her husband and step-son, Jake, who often enjoyed brainstorming new recipes for her to try.
“I just really like baking for them, especially for their birthdays,” said Maghan. “They would find recipes they wanted to try, [things like] eggnog cookies and donuts. It made me happy that it made them to happy. It was fun, them finding recipes, then asking me to bake them. It became kind of a passion.”
When Roger told Maghan he could envision her as a professional baker, Maghan decided to explore the craft and soak up as much knowledge as she could before determining if establishing a business was truly the path she desired to travel. Born from their own home and originally baked in their own kitchen, Maghan’s first experience with promoting her recipes to the public was at an annual Tillison Bend yard sale, where she set up a table filled with treats. The end result foreshadowed a pattern to follow the couple in the years ahead – they sold everything they had.
That moment at the community yard sale led to Maghan forming partnerships with Rainbow City and Glencoe farmer’s markets, where she sold her products on different days throughout the week. Her success at the markets led to the pair purchasing a camper, then a transit van, similar to a food truck. Their final mobile business venture manifested in a concession trailer, which worked perfectly. The pair parked near Glencoe Elementary School for four years, serving eager customers with mouth-watering goodies.
“I’ve really learned how difficult it is to start a business,” said Maghan. “There are so many licenses and a lot of hoops to jump through. Really, the main thing is just persistence – I think that’s the biggest lesson I’ve gotten through this whole process. Even at the beginning, there were some farmer’s markets I went to, and they wouldn’t let me set up because I wasn’t selling vegetables; that was their rule. Some of them I had to talk into letting me set up there. But you just keep going and learn to accept rejection. These were all difficult lessons for me, but I’ve gotten better!”
Little by little, Roger and Maghan collected equipment for a storefront shop as they continued to sell their creations from their concession trailer and awaited the right moment to embrace the growth they hoped to witness one day in the future. That day arrived in February of 2021, when their dream of owning a traditional bakery manifested in Glencoe and the couple welcomed visitors to the bakery’s new home.
Since the bakery’s opening, the community response has proved paramount, with floods of supporters outpouring each morning. Operating on a first-come first-serve basis for now, the bakery opens at 7 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday each week, providing customers with delightful desserts and homemade classics from the moment its doors open until the second only crumbs remain.
“That first Friday night, we were in the back and it was 10:30 [at night],” said Roger. “I was laying in the floor staring at the ceiling, and Maghan was like, ‘What have we done!’ We sold out the first two days, then got up the next morning and sold out. I thought, ‘We’re doing something!’”
Roger and Maghan expressed their gratitude for their loyal customers, whose encouragement uplifts them without ceasing. From their first days in the trailer to their most recent moments in their store, the same familiar faces return time and time again, showering the couple with reassurance and supporting their business, one kind word and bought blueberry biscuit at a time.
“I feel like half of them are family,” said Roger. “We have one guy who comes in here – he stopped every day in the trailer. Most days he doesn’t buy anything, he just wants to talk to us. He’s retired; we told him we were going to make him security! We’re blessed with a lot of folks like that. [Maghan] just treats everybody so well. It’s easy for people to want to come back because she’s always smiling. That’s just the way she is.”
“I love our customers,” said Maghan. “I love getting to interact with them. I know about their families and what is going on with them. They’re always just so encouraging to me. I try to be encouraging to them as well.”
The pair reflected on days spent in the trailer when they were hungry and customers came to their rescue, bringing them food. Often, visitors give them little gifts or share treasured recipes with them, wondering if the couple might consider adding certain family favorites to their menu. If someone offers an idea or asks them to make something, Maghan tries her best to provide the public with what it wants, creating an ever-evolving collection of treats to choose from.
Made fresh from scratch each day, cinnamon rolls, snicker doodle sandwiches, fudgy brownies and cookies of all kind ordain Twelve Basket’s menu, with oatmeal cream pies taking the cake as Maghan’s personal favorite. If someone seeks a savory option to counteract his or her sweet tooth, the bakery offers delicious alternatives like cheddar cheese bread, pigs in a blanket and sausage balls.
An enticing aroma lingers in the air as visitors step over the threshold into a world of sweetness at Twelve Baskets, while a warmth radiates from its owners who welcome all who arrive. Dashes of robin’s egg blues and inviting yellows intertwine to create a cheerful atmosphere, enriched with fresh flowers near the windows, a piano and family photos resting on the walls.
“We like to try to keep it positive and welcoming,” said Maghan. “That’s how we want to be treated, so that’s how we would like to treat other people as well.”
From the décor to the menu to the manner in which the Mizells treat their customers, their business’ philosophy culminates best in its name. The name Twelve Baskets Bakery derives from a passage in the Bible, which details Jesus taking five loaves of bread and two fish and feeding over five thousand men, women and children. As Maghan read these verses one day, her eyes fell upon the scripture which noted that those five loaves and two fish were not barely enough sustenance for the masses, but a surplus – with twelve baskets of leftovers remaining after all had eaten.
Inspired by how God’s provision blesses individuals far beyond measure, Maghan immediately knew Twelve Baskets exemplified her vision for the bakery.
“To me, [the name Twelve Baskets] shows you don’t have to have a lot,” said Maghan. “God can do a lot with a little.”
“It’s nice being able to do something exactly with your values and your morals,” said Roger. “It’s nice knowing you can build your own Christian-based business. This is who we are; this is why we’re here.”
While the couple hope the future holds growth for their bakery, they dedicate themselves to the ideals rooted in their business’ mission: faith and family. Although some might shy from mixing family with business, the Mizells embrace the two, sharing that relatives frequent the shop to add helping hands happily. Jake accompanies them often, with nieces and nephews contributing as well.
“My mom is 81 and she helped me wrap 170 pigs in a blanket Sunday afternoon,” said Roger. “She just sat in there and wrapped and wrapped. We didn’t realize how excited she was to come and help. When we went to pick her up, my nephew told us she’d been looking forward to it for three days.”
“I think they really enjoy it,” said Maghan. “My mom (who helps with cookies) was always a good cook, as well as my grandmother and great-grandmother. We really like it being a family business.”
From the first seed the Mizells planted to their blossoming business today, their kindness that coincides with their business affects all who visit Twelve Baskets Bakery. Through their endurance to perfect each recipe and their commitment to serving their community, their genuine nature and jovial hearts shine as beacons of sincerity as they provide customers with unforgettable treats each day. From their youngest visitors, whose excitement brews in shopping baskets coated with red gingham cloth, to their newest customers discovering their business for the first time, Roger and Maghan awake each morning ready to feed the masses, spreading happiness with every bite.
“I hope that when [visitors] come, they feel good – like this is a welcoming place,” said Maghan. “Because they are welcome here; we love seeing them. I hope it’s joyful.”
“Everyone is welcome at any time,” said Roger. “We don’t mind somebody coming in and saying, ‘My grandmother used to make these. Are you ever going to make these?’ We’ve done it several times. We try our best to accommodate those things. We want you to feel like family when you walk in the door. If you don’t feel like family, we’re doing something wrong.”