It might just be the energy, enthusiasm or originality, but one thing is for sure; Nae’s Sweet Snax is a product of love and passion.
While the newly opened business in Oakdale might be a current side gig for young and energetic Renee Burrell, her gift for goodies is undeniable.
“It’s fun for me. It’s definitely hard work, but it’s fun for me,” Burrell said of Nae’s Sweet Snax. “I just like seeing people smile.”
The small business owner shared that she first happened upon Oakdale two years ago during a lower than usual attendance Oakdale Chocolate Festival.
“Since there weren’t that many chocolate people there, a lot of people ended up coming back to my booth,” she said. “I ended up selling out before it ended.”
It turned out to be a fortuitous decision to take part in the festival.
“I felt very welcome and I got a lot of great feedback,” she continued. “That’s how I got to know about Oakdale.”
Making a play on her family nickname, Nae or Nae Nae was the start of Nae’s Sweet Snax. Burrell also related stories of sharing sweets with her father as a child, as well as spending time with him in the kitchen while others played. The newly opened business storefront is at 730 E. F St., Suite D, Oakdale.
Initially launching her business in 2020, Burrell focused more on weddings and special events at first, noting that a large number of clients have gone away from traditional cakes for their events and lean more toward individual confections.
Burrell offers a variety of individually specialty wrapped brownies, as well as cookies, various brittles, lemon bars and ice cream. All made, packaged, labeled and delivered by her personally.
Yet it was the encouragement of her business manager and fellow entrepreneur Kendra Jordan which brought the baker to a brick-and-mortar storefront.
“She really pushed me to think bigger,” Burrell said.
“In just meeting her and her personality, I saw the drive in her,” Jordan said of Burrell, noting her passion as a fellow entrepreneur to support others in business.
“Trust me when you eat the food you know it’s cooked and prepared with love because you get addicted.” she chuckled.
First meeting Burrell as a client of one of her own businesses, the Oakdale business woman said she feels it’s important to support people who support her. From there forward, Jordan recruited Burrell for a number of events and a friendship was formed.
“I saw that not only does she have a good product, but she has a good personality, she works hard and she was serious about what she did,” Jordan stated. “Not only is the food good, but the presentation is well done.”
Burrell shared her excitement to bring her products to Oakdale on a more regular basis, acknowledging there isn’t anything like what she offers currently in the area.
As she juggles working full-time at her primary job, baking and creating all the goodies in her commercial kitchen, as well as still fulfilling event orders, the storefront is currently open three days a week: Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Hours and details are updated regularly on her social media pages.
Both Burrell and Jordan shared the goal is to grow the business to a point where they can not only maintain a more centralized storefront, but also employee local students to allow more flexibility in the schedule.
“A lot of the feedback I’ve gotten is Oakdale doesn’t have anything like this,” Burrell said. “That’s typically the first thing people say when they come in.”
Another selling point is the freshness of the product.
“I do everything from scratch,” she explained.
The brownies currently offered include: strawberry, orange creme, butter toffee crunch, chocolate chunk and a cookie brownie. Ice cream flavors include: buttery apple pie ice cream, strawberry swirl cheesecake ice cream and caramel crust ice cream.
“Making people smile,” she said of what she loves most about the business. “I’ve got to be honest, that probably sounds corny but just the happiness. Honestly that’s what it is. People’s response. When they’re happy with what they’ve consumed, that makes me happy.”
For additional information on products, hours or to place pre-orders, visit her website, Facebook Naes Sweet Snax or Instagram naes_sweet_snax.