By Heather Skaggs

Photos by James and Rachel Culver

Lying in bed one night, Ramsey Nuss found herself contemplating gingerbread cookies—not just any holiday treat, but a bundle of goodness for moms to purchase and decorate with their kids.  

She had time she wanted to fill between her children’s naptimes, and Netflix was just not the “chill” it used to be. Baking was on her mind. 

With a post written for social media offering cookie decorating kits complete with cookies, piping bags of icing and sprinkles for decorating, there was only one thing left to do—click post.  

“I had paralyzing thoughts flying through my head of, ‘What if people don’t respond,’ or ‘Can I even do this?’” Ramsey recalls. 

The response was truly amazing, she says. 

The following holiday season, Ramsey was in high demand for her cookie kits and upped her offering to add sugar cookies and cinnamon rolls—orders doubled, then tripled. Ramsey found herself dubbed the ‘Cookie Lady’ of her neighborhood, giving her a new place, a purpose and the beginnings of a new business.  

In 2020, Good Neighbor Baking, a cottage-style kitchen bakery specializing in cookie cakes and sandwiches, became official. 

“My spirit settled on the name Good Neighbor Baking which derived from the initial reason why I began baking in the first place, to meet people around me and engage with my community through one of my passions, baking,” Ramsey says.  

Because Ramsey, a Sylacauga native, and her husband, Andrew, moved several times after getting married, she says she never felt like she had the opportunity to settle or plant roots until returning to Birmingham in 2017. Finding community was important to the Nuss family, and they found it in Hoover’s historic neighborhood of Bluff Park. 

“It’s crazy to think what started as a nap time side-hustle transformed almost overnight into a thriving business simply baking items I felt didn’t have much of a platform around me locally,” she says. “Through that entire process of trying to figure out what I could offer without stepping into anyone else’s territory, I fell into a niche that gave me the brand I now have today.”  

Good Neighbor Baking offers a menu of tasty goodies. Ramsey says her Oatmeal Cream Pie Mini Sandwiches are by far the most popular.  

“I get comments about these little guys all the time,” she adds. “The mini-sized sandwiches are made with vanilla buttercream and are soft and chewy, with hints of brown sugar, molasses and fall spices.”  

Sprinkles and custom colors can also be added. Another favorite is Good Neighbor Baking’s traditional chocolate chip cookie cake. It is not your average cookie cake; Ramsey uses a deep dish-style recipe that has been with her for many years. The cookie is soft and made with butter, not shortening, and can be customized for any occasion in a variety of frosting colors. Around the holidays, you can find a number of special offerings, from cookie mixes to decorated holiday mini sandwiches. 

A favorite of the baker herself is bread.  

“I love bread so much,” Ramsey says. “Don’t we all? Recently, I’ve been dabbling in sourdough, which I’ve found to be extremely therapeutic. Sometimes I will make an extra loaf or two and give it away to a friend in my run club or a nursing mama.”  

Decorating with a palate of buttercream has quickly become one of the many joys in the business for Ramsey.  

“I love recipe-testing, watching ingredients come together and complement one another, and pushing boundaries with buttercream on the decorating and design side,” she says. 

Ramsey notes one of her favorite things about having a growing small business is that she is able to support her surrounding community of businesses, makers and social activities.  

“I have had the privilege of connecting with other local makers and building lasting relationships with them,” she adds. “If you own a small business, you understand it may seem super glamorous from the outside, but in reality, it’s a lot of work and can be taxing on your mental health, family and social life. There has to be the real joy that comes from doing what you love in order to survive the hard days.”  

Thinking back to her ‘what if’ moments, Ramsey recognizes her baking business’s journey.  

“If I had listened to the fear in my head, I could’ve missed out on such a blessing the Lord intended for my life,” Ramsey says. “My approach to Good Neighbor Baking has been to see what doors the Lord is opening and where my opportunities are forming. There is so much life-giving community here [in Bluff Park], and I am forever thankful for the gift of serving them through Good Neighbor Baking.”  

Customers interested in learning more about Good Neighbor Baking can visit or follow the business on Facebook and Instagram @goodneighborbaking.