Welcome to the MD Blog! Thank you for stopping by and spending some time with us today! We are very excited to launch this new piece of the website because it will be a way for us to connect with you more and get to know one another better! Through our stories, you will learn a little bit more about our personal life, our business life, new events, specials and menu changes coming up, as well as have a bird's eye view into our passion and love for this business!
With this being our very first post, we thought we would introduce ourselves and dive into why we do what we do! Mason Dixon was founded by husband and wife couple, Taylor and Ashley Ramirez (that’s us!) We moved to Huntsville, AL in January of 2013, with plans to continue our professional lives in our academically trained fields. Taylor had been the CFO of a publicly traded bank in North Carolina and Ashley had just finished her Doctorate in polymer chemistry from Duke University. Upon arriving in Alabama, Taylor accepted another job in the banking world, but Ashley’s plans became re-routed when her job offer was postponed due to sequestration hiring freezes. We won’t go too much further there, because this is not meant to be a story for commiserating, but actually a story of how God directs the path for you life if you just let Him lead the way.
Mason Dixon was born out of a passion for nourishing both the body and soul and serving our community through our Christ given talents. What began as a small Farmer's Market pop up stand, quickly grew to a stand alone retail store within 6 months. At this pivotal moment, we had a decision to make. Are we going to really do this, or is this just something fun on the side? Let me tell you, that was a tough decision! We had to abandon a normal job, a steady paycheck, 8-5 hour days and 5 day work weeks. But, when you have passion for something, a desire to create, a desire to serve, you do it. You jump in and cast your fears aside. You trust in the Lord to guide your fall and you leap. Proverbs 3:5-6 adorned our walls of the bakery to be a daily reminder.
Here we are, almost 4 years later and we still continuously take that leap of faith. After the bakery had been open for almost 2 years, we decided to expand to a full Bistro as well. This meant a new building, a major move and a whole new investment. Our business, which at the time was employing 3 people quickly grew to employing 17 people. With growth comes challenges, but you can never give up. Now, after 4 years of business, we are expanding to a new city, adding a second location. We are excited, terrified, overwhelmed and touched by His grace, all at the same time.
So why do we do this? Why did we abandon “normal” life for a life that is anything but normal? 6 day, 70-80 hour work weeks are standard. You never truly “leave” work, because this is your passion, this is your life. The business becomes a child that you foster, nourish, and give your unconditional love to. But, let me tell you, the business gives it right back to us.
A story that forever will stand out in my mind is from our very first Farmers Market visit in April of 2013. We had pulled an all nighter baking everything for our booth for the next morning. At this time, we had no employees, it was just Taylor and I. There was a young child, probably around 5 years old, who walked by our booth. He came up and sad, “I wish I could have one of those!”. I smiled and said, “Well, go ask your Mommy and maybe you can!” He quickly replied to me “I can’t, I can’t eat gluten, it makes me sick.” I smiled and said “Me too, but guess what, you CAN actually eat all of these, they are all gluten free!” He looked a little skeptical and began pointing to the cupcakes one by one and said “Is this one gluten free? Is this one gluten free? Is this one gluten free?” I nodded my head, Yes, to each one and his eyes lit up. He ran over to his mom at the next booth over and said “Mommy, mommy, I can have a cupcake! They are all gluten free!!!” Tears pooled up in my eyes as I gladly handed the little boy his cupcake. From that moment on, I knew that this is right where I am supposed to be.
These little stories are what keep us going every day. Running a small business is certainly not for the birds. But, making a child the first birthday cake they’ve ever had is something not everyone can say they do. Calming the fears of a family whose young child was just diagnosed with Celiac brings joy to our heart. We are here to serve you, serve your family and serve our community. Whatever your dietary restriction, lifestyle choice or passion for food, bring it to us and we will make it happen! Thank you for becoming part of our family!
Taylor, Ashley and the Mason Dixon Family!