The mother-daughter owned La Momo Maes Bakery is approaching its tenth year of serving baked goods to Longmont
Cathy Fiegenschuh and her daughter Michelle Leaming opened the Longmont bakery in a small home turned commercial space at 624 Kimbark St on Oct. 5, 2011. Fiegenschuh has baked for her two daughters since they were little and spent her career working as a cake decorator and bakery manager.
Originally from Nebraska, Leaming and Fiegenschuh considered opening up a catering and bakery company together in Omaha but Leaming relocated to Longmont more than 15 years ago for work and to be close to the mountains. Her sister LeAnn moved her family to the area after.
When Fiegenschuh moved to Longmont in 2011 to be close to her daughters and grandchildren, it seemed like the right time to pursue their family bakery. Leaming uses her experience in business including working in marketing, public relations and finance to complement Fiegenschuh career managing bakeries.
“Baking has always been a part of my life. My maternal grandmother was a big part of this idea to open a business. Her baking and desserts were always a part of the time we spent together,” Leaming said in a written response. “She passed the love of baking down to my mom, who has now worked in the industry for over 40 years. With my business background and love of sweets and my mom’s baking background, it just made sense.”
Fiegenschuh is often asked if La Momo Maes is a French name or another language. It’s actually a mashup of the women and girls’ names in the family.
“La” stands for LeAnn’s name and her daughter, Amelia. “Maes” represents Michelle, and her daughters Alexis and Emily. “Momo” refers to the name Fiegenschuh’s granddaughter Alexis calls her.
“La Momo Maes Bakery means first and foremost, family,” Leaming said. “Second, it means a sense of community and belonging. My family started this business 10 years ago and the community embraced us and in return, we have given back and embraced the members and businesses in this community.”
While Leaming runs the business side of the company including booking events and payroll, Fiegenschuh runs production and manages a team of 12. One of Fiegenschuh’s favorite parts about her job is setting up at different weddings and events, meeting new customers and greeting the regulars who come in. About three and a half years ago, the bakery relocated to a larger space at 900 S Hover St. La Momo Maes ramped up the production abilities and added a walk-up counter where customers can order baked goods from the display case and coffee and tea drinks. Fiegenschuh said the expansion is one of the great accomplishments of La Momo Maes decade-long history.
“When we switched from downtown to here, then we had a ribbon-cutting here and this place was packed,” she said. “So that shows you how well that we were received in the community as well.”
Part of why La Momo Maes was welcomed into Longmont’s community was because of its involvement, she added. Leaming said they signed up for a membership with the Longmont Chamber of Commerce before opening the bakery’s doors and added that it offered opportunities to foster new relationships.
After two years of La Momo Maes being in business, Leaming was approached to join the LACC board of directors. She spent six years on the board and holding executive leadership positions for three years including board chair. Getting involved and helping other businesses is part of why La Momo Maes grew its own company, Fiegenschuh said, and that support cycles around.
“It's very important to be in the business community,” she said. “It's a good way to meet people. And we meet other business owners and help them out too with different ideas, because there might be somebody else wondering or struggling.”
In addition to the LACC, La Momo Maes gets involved with churches, schools and other organizations in Longmont. Fiegenschuh said they do what they can, donating baked goods for different events and fundraisers or offering their services at a discounted rate. Leaming is in her fourth year serving on the board for A Woman’s Work, a nonprofit funding source for women in the St. Vrain Valley needing financial assistance.
La Momo Maes' large variety of pastries includes its popular cake bars that come in 12 varieties, muffins, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, danishes and pies on weekends and for holidays. The bakery also offers custom cake and bakery services.
Over the last 10 years, La Momo Maes has had repeat customers for custom event orders. Fiegenschuh said it’s special that the bakery has been a part of customer’s special life events including weddings, baby showers and graduations. She said she has customers who have bought their child’s birthday cake every year from La Momo Maes.
“We have a lot of brides that get their engagement cake and then they'll get their wedding cake,” Fiegenschuh said. “And then before you know it, they have a gender reveal cake and a birthday cake.”
Leaming said La Momo Maes has been fortunate to have grown every year since 2011, and they look forward to continuing that pattern in Longmont and other areas in Colorado.