muddy's journal

a behind-the-scenes peek at our fall 2016 lookbook photoshoot

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at a food photoshoot? I did a long time ago ... and I still wonder about (and pity) those who have to make pretty photos of beef stew and wilted greens. I'm pretty sure I'm the most lucky food photographer in the world, in fact, because all I ever photograph are some of the most darling products on the planet: Muddy's cupcakes, cookies, and pies, and maybe sometimes a coffee drink or two. This post is the story of one of those photography sessions, and it's one you'll recognize if you've seen our Fall 2016 lookbook. (And if you haven't, pick one up on your next cupcake and/or coffee run, seriously. You won't regret it!)

We here at Muddy's count ourselves lucky to have Sullivan Branding as our lookbook production team. Associate creative director of Sullivan Michelle Simpkin has done the styling for all of our lookbooks, as well as the scouting (and sometimes creation of) most of our props.

So first things first. Before Michelle even shows up for the photoshoot, our magical baking gnomies fill our order for all the goodies needed in the shoot. Mmm, I don't know if I can wait until October to eat one of those Ghost Cookies!

Michelle arrives and sets up a prop table, which for this shoot included a football, a pompom, and these ADORBS pumpkins (painted by Michelle, naturally). Our Spring 2016 lookbook sits in the foreground for inspiration.

Michelle works with Kip, our VP of operations, to measure and mark the area for our "Seasons Eatings" so the image will fit perfectly onto the lookbook center spread. Yep, we're working right on the floor.

It takes a lot of time, a lot of hands, and a lot of trips up and down our crazy tall ladder, but Michelle eventually is ready to make the final adjustments to her perfectly styled shot.

Next Michelle styles our Back to School features page. White space is planned for a letter from Kat, an index, and product descriptions. And there's me up there on the ladder! I have to say, I was fine with the height at the time, but when I look at photos of myself up there, my palms get a wee bit damp.

We're almost done with the photoshoot! Products go back on the rack (or in our mouths) when we're done photographing them.

Next Michelle styles our cover while I look on with camera in hand. Getting the perspective just right with the cupcakes and the pumpkins is surprisingly challenging, and the slatted door eventually has to be replaced with another backdrop. To anyone out there thinking about using a slatted door as a backdrop: don't. Just learn from our mistakes, and don't.

So the photoshoot went a little long ... which resulted in a visit from my baby girl who was missing her mama. I think I may have shot the cover image with her in my lap, actually. Yes, I have the best job in the world.

And finally, here's there are always images that don't make it into the final lookbook, the "outtakes" if you will. Here's one of our GORGEOUS Candy Corn Cake that will be available to order in October ... so I will give you a moment to write that in your calendar. Here you can see what the backdrop of our cover looked like prior to some "healing" magic Michelle worked in Photoshop.

And here's the final cover image, because I know you're curious (if you don't have the Fall 2016 lookbook in front of you in real life, that is).

As for the other pages? You're going to have to pick up a lookbook yourself on your next trip to Muddy's. See you there this week!

Posted by Janine Smith at Wednesday, September 14, 2016 | 0 comments

featured flavor: our pop*up shop on broad!

Okay, so it's a stretch to call an entire Pop*Up Shop a "flavor", but I don't care. It's fun, it's exciting, and it's this week only, so why not make it our feature flavor, right?

While Muddy's Midtown on Cooper is closed this week for repairs, we are running a Pop*Up Shop at Muddy's Kitchen at 2497 Broad Avenue, Suite 101. It's not every day that we open up our Broad location to the public, and we are every bit as excited about hosting this here as you are to come see us any day this week, from 12pm to 6pm.

We've got our espresso machine here, which means all the coffee drinks you want, and a (with the exception of cold case items such as pies) a full baked goods menu! We're especially excited about our Cinnamon Bun Cake, an old favorite that just returned to the case after WAY too long of a vacation. Our cinnamon cake is an aptly named tender, spicy, melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon cake loaded with fluffy cream cheese icing and garnished with cinnamon and sugar. You can treat yourself to a slice at either of our locations this week, order a whole cake HERE, or order the cupcake version by the dozen HERE.

If you're not fully convinced that you need to drop what you're doing and come see us at our Pop*Up Shop on Broad, get this: we're raffling off a free cake every day this week. That's six chances to win a cake, y'all: your odds have never been this good!

Posted by Janine Smith at Tuesday, September 13, 2016 | 0 comments

muddy's midtown is moving! (but just for the week)

Let's get the bad news out of the way first: Muddy's Midtown location on Cooper will be closed for repairs September 12-17. The more observant of you all may have noticed that our floors at Muddy's Midtown are in need of a little TLC, and that's just what they'll be getting next week. I hope you're not fretting too much though, because the good news is pretty great....

For the duration of our Cooper location closure, September 12-17, Muddy's Kitchen will be hosting a Pop*Up Shop from 12 PM-6 PM! We will be stocking our entire case list (while supplies last, as usual), AND we will have an espresso machine on site. While no tables will be available at our shop, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about this rare opportunity. For one, you'll get a chance to get a wee peek into our Kitchen, where our baking gnomies produce all that lovin' from the oven you enjoy every week! Also you could...

Yes, the photo is correct: you could win a cake if you come see us at our Pop*Up Shop any day next week! When you come see us, you will have the opportunity to enter a raffle for either a Prozac or Plain Jane Cake (your choice), and every day we will be picking a winner. That's six chances to win Memphis's favorite cake: don't miss out on this one!

So where is this Muddy's Kitchen Pop*Up Shop, you ask? We're at 2497 Broad Avenue, Suite 101. Look for the building featuring the friendly gnomes below.

And for our fine pre-order customer folks: if you have already placed a pre-order for pick up at Muddy's Midtown during the Cooper location closure, a gnomie will be in touch to confirm whether you wish to pick your order up at our Kitchen or if another solution will suit you better. And if you're planning to place a pre-order for Midtown pick up this week, know that the option is available: Midtown just means--for the week of September 12-17--2497 Broad Avenue, Suite 101, and not 585 South Cooper. We'll see you next week!

Posted by Janine Smith at Friday, September 9, 2016 | 1 comments

feature flavors: football butter cookies in the case & team spirit sprankle cookies available for preorder!

Football season is here! Which--more importantly--means tailgating season is here. And with our scratch-made sporty cookie selection, Muddy's Bake Shop is more than happy to help you get your game on.

football butter cookies

Memphis (and all citizens of the Midsouth), rejoice! Muddy's intensely buttery melt-in-your-mouth butter cookies already have built quite a fandom in all their various forms, and for the first time ever, football fans can celebrate with the cookies they want in the shape that they crave. Our butter cookies are hand cut, baked to perfection, and finally hand-decorated with royal icing. They are in the case Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday this week, or you can order by the dozen by clicking HERE.

team spirit sprankle cookies (by preorder only)

While our featured flavors of the week are normally flavors available in the case, I couldn't pass up this opportunity to let you know about our Team Spirit Sprankle Cookies, available by preorder only! You already love our Rainbow Sprankle Sugar Cookies in all of their chewy, slightly-caramelized-sugary, hint-of-lemon perfection. But NOW your favorite Memphis sugar cookie loves your team, whichever it might be! All you have to do is make a phone call 48 hours (or more) before your event, and all your tailgate dreams will be fulfilled. Order yours by calling 901.683.8844 for pick up in East Memphis, or 901.443.4144 for pick up in Midtown. Go team go!

Posted by Janine Smith at Tuesday, September 6, 2016 | 0 comments