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Going 'Behind the Sweets'
Military widow runs bakery with mother-in-law
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Military widow Jenny Adams runs Behind the Sweets with her mother-in-law, Linda Adams.

About this article

This article was originally published in the July/August 2015 issue of M: North Atlanta magazine, a publication of the Forsyth County News. To read the entire magazine, click here.

Contact

Behind the Sweets is at 1595 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 116.
* Phone: (770) 826-7848.

When she is not on duty in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, Cumming resident and mother of one son Jenny Adams is most likely in the kitchen baking.

And not necessarily at home, but rather in the kitchen of her south Forsyth business, Behind the Sweets, that she opened in February with her mother-in-law, Linda Adams.

The shop is quite the resource for all things baking, from a large collection of cookie cutters and an impressive array of gourmet flavorings to specialty baking pans and cake boxes. It also carries decorations for cakes, candy molds, cookies, pies, gourmet flavorings and even fondant.

“We have many unusual things that you won’t find at some of the stores that carry baking supplies,” Linda Adams said.

In addition, she and her daughter-in-law said they are always happy to special order items for customers.

Speaking of customers, Jenny Adams said they make every effort to get to know them all so they can best serve their needs.

“We strive to offer a personalized service,” she said.

The elder Adams said she has been baking since she was a little girl.

“My mother was a single mother and worked, so we were home by ourselves quite a bit,” she recalled. “From the first time I baked, I knew it was what I loved and wanted to do.”

In 1988, she opened Party Art in Cumming, and ran the bakery and baking supply store for 23 years.

The story of how the women came to open Behind the Sweets is filled with perseverance and triumph. Jenny Adams, originally from California, joined the Air Force at age 18 after graduating high school in 2004.

It was in Germany, where she was stationed after basic training, that she met Linda’s son Mat, who was also in the Air Force, and they married. A year later, the couple welcomed a baby boy, Damian. Sadly, Mat Adams passed away in 2008.

Because the couple had been in Germany for four years before his death, Jenny Adams said she didn’t really know her in-laws that well.

“I really wanted them to know their grandson and, of course, I wanted to know them as well.”

When she was able to transfer to Warner Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, she began traveling to Cumming with Damian once a month to visit Linda and Ed Adams.

The relationship that developed was more than just healing, it was transformational.

“I love Linda and Ed so much,” she said. “They are such an awesome couple and we all became so close.”

Because her mother-in-law was always baking, Jenny Adams said she was completely spoiled when it came to birthday cakes and sweets in general.

“One day, Linda asked me if I wanted to go with her to Atlanta to buy some baking supplies,” she said.

The pair drove to the baking supply store and it took all afternoon.

“On the way home, I said, ‘Wow, that was so far,” she said. “I told Linda she should open a baking shop here in Cumming so people wouldn’t have to drive all the way to Atlanta for specialty baking supplies.”

From that one comment came numerous conversations over the next few years, which ultimately led to Behind the Sweets and a new business venture.

After more than 10 years of active duty service, Jenny Adams was able to obtain an early release and enter the Air Force Reserves.

"I am not a traditional Reservist. Instead, I am an Individual Mobilization Augmentee assigned to Robins Air Force Base,” she explained. “I do the same amount of time as a traditional Reservist, but I am allowed to set up when I serve, and it has to be Monday through Friday.”

Adams is able to break up the time and complete it within the fiscal year. Being able to set her own schedule helps her juggle motherhood and her duties at Behind the Sweets.

The spacious store not only has every sort of baking supply a home or professional baker may need, but it also has a large room for classes.

The Adams offer many types of courses, from basic candy making to cake and cookie baking, in addition to specialty classes such as how to make fondant flowers and petite fours.

“We cater to our customers so we can customize classes as well. We always make them age specific,” Linda Adams explained. “We can do birthday parties, or celebrations, or just maybe some friends want to get together and learn how to make candy or bake cupcakes.”