Mabel Mae’s Bakery owner Niki Dube turned baking into a full-time gig during the pandemic, but her 13-month old company is different from the countless small-batch bakeries that popped up over the last year and a half. Sure, she sells an assortment of dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan baked goods, cakes and bars — and they’re delicious — but what really sets Mabel Mae’s apart is its healthy snacks for new mothers.
“Another component that I do is lactation treats for new moms because I struggled in the beginning,” Dube said. “I made my own lactation treats because everything on the market right now is just full of inflammatories and junk that new moms don’t need.”
Dube, who launched Mabel Mae’s in July 2020, specializes in those lactation treats, along with healthy versions of blueberry lemon bars, scones, cinnamon buns, muffins, cookies and more. All products are made in a commissary kitchen and can be purchased online.
“Treats and healthy living are two of my favorite things, and kind of that homage to a balance is what I wanted to focus on,” said Dube, who launched her company shortly after the birth of her daughter, Mabel, and the death of her mother, Mae. “I made a decision that I was either going to crumble from everything happening or I was really going to challenge myself and, do something that my mom would want to do.”
“She raised us very holistically, and she always baked our cookies with applesauce,” said Dube of her mother, who taught her how to bake. “She taught me to blend health and treats together.”
Since first popping up at the Holy City Farmers Market last summer, where she still sets up shop every Wednesday afternoon, Dube has expanded her operation by getting her products into Hustle Smoothie Bar in Mount Pleasant Towne Center. She hopes to show that “whether you have food sensitivities [and] allergies or not, natural, gluten-free and vegan treats can taste and feel as indulgent as any other dessert out there,” she said.
While Dube’s product line now runs the gamut, her vision for Mabel Mae’s started with her lactation treats, made using “nutrient-dense foods.”
Online and at Hustle, Dube sells lactation cookies, white fudge caramel lactation bars, golden milk brownies and blueberry cashew granola, all of which are geared toward feeding new moms.
According to Dube, the lactation products are “essentially treats that are full of galactogogues, and galactogogues are natural foods that help boost, increase and maintain breast milk production.”
“Whether they are struggling with production or they just want something that will nourish themselves, that’s what I aim to give them because new moms are so hungry all the time and the treats that I provide are full of protein and fiber,” she said.
While she can’t promise results, Dube said she’s received positive feedback from new mothers and other customers.
“So far, all of the moms I’ve worked with have seen production increases, which makes me so happy,” Dube said. “I’ve been working at this really hard, so I’m just so grateful that all corners of Charleston seem to be truly ready just to accept gluten-free and vegan into their lives.”
For more information or to place an order, visit mabelmaes.com.