In order to expand the reach beyond family and friends, Imerman decided to move back to Michigan, and work with his mother, Jane, to create an organic version of her cake. The goal was to move their business from her home kitchen to the local market. In 2013, the USDA organic cakes made it to their first store shelves, and were no longer baked in Jane’s kitchen. Currently, they can be found in twelve specialty food store locations and can be shipped anywhere within the United States. Most recently, the company added The Henry Ford Museum as a new account.
I first met Jeffrey at a small Oakland county farmer’s market where he was selling his cakes. It was here that I also met Jeffrey’s brother Jonny Imerman. Both brothers were outgoing, sensitive and had a great sense of humor. Their mother, Jane, co- founder of Imerman Cakes was due to arrive later.
In 2001, Jonny Imerman was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Jonny was just 26 when he began his fight. In 2003, he created, Imerman Angels, a non- profit organization based in Chicago. The company created a mentorship program by matching Cancer patients and survivors. A portion of the Imerman Cake profits go to Imerman Angels. “My brother’s cancer fight created a real awareness for us about the importance of healthy food choices. We got into very pure organic foods and I started thinking that combining my mom’s cake with our food awareness could be an awesome synergy,” explains Jeffrey Imerman.
With any start- up comes growing pains and a learning curve. Jane found early on that communication is the key to their success. Jane adds, “We represent different generations and bring different perspectives and ideas to the business.
Communication is so important and we have mutual respect for each other, even when we disagree. We both know our end goal is the same, and that is to produce a product that represents a healthier, cleaner food choice for people.”