Cookie Business Founder, Domestic Abuse Survivor Raises Funds for Nonprofit
Every October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month serves as a reminder that everyone deserves a safe place to land. For survivors, that need is greater than ever.
Tubman, a resource for people struggling with relationship violence and other related traumas, has several locations in the Twin Cities. It helps people throughout the region with a range of services — from housing to counseling and legal services.
About 17,000 people use Tubman’s services every year.
Pain into Purpose
Brooklyn Park’s Junita Flowers once sought the peace offered through Tubman’s services herself.
“I spent 14 years in an abusive relationship,” Flowers said. “It was very chaotic, it was traumatic. And to manage some of those painful moments, I turned to baking. It’s what I know, it is where I found joy as a child.”
As she fled the situation, baking became her purpose. CCX first met her in 2018, when her cookies were only sold online and in Osseo.
“I was making cookies not as a business, but as a way to connect with something that made me smile,” Flowers said in 2018.
Since then, what she calls Junita’s Jar has expanded to Target stores nationwide. A portion of the proceeds go to education and awareness initiatives dedicated to ending relationship violence.
“I just knew that creating conversations around the topic of relationship violence, and somehow doing something that brought so much transformation to my life was impactful. I wanted to do that, and I wanted to do it well,” Flowers said.
Flowers credits Tubman for helping her heal.
“When I needed help but didn’t know how to ask for it or what I needed specifically, Tubman met me where I was and helped me get to the next step in my journey,” Flowers said.
She leaned on Tubman’s resource as she got back on her feet. Now, she’s co-chair of the Great Dreams Campaign at Tubman.
It’s a fundraiser seeking to expand Tubman’s resources for people seeking relief.
“Tubman literally planted seeds to transform my life, which is why I know people say it all the time — but literally, that is why I still volunteer and engage the way I have engaged,” Flowers said.
The Great Dreams Campaign is a three-year fundraiser, with a goal of raising $8.5 million by June 2025.
It hopes to create a pet shelter program, improve its kitchen services and offer additional security for survivors, among a number of other expansive efforts at Harriet Tubman Center East in Woodbury. More details about the campaign are available online.
Each donation is matched 1:1. Donations can be made online.