Cookies and Conversation: Junita's Jar Finds New Way to Support Victims of Domestic Violence

Junita Flowers, the founder of domestic violence support and awareness group Junita's Jar, holds a box of cookies.
Junita’s Jar builds awareness of domestic violence.

Junita Flowers’ best childhood memories stem from the time that she spent in the kitchen, preparing meals and making desserts with her family. For Flowers, combining her love of desserts, specifically cookies, and her goal of helping domestic violence victims has resulted in a mission-driven cookie company called Junita’s Jar, based in South Minneapolis.

“During the years that I was in an abusive relationship, baking cookies was my emotional escape. Junita’s Jar provides a platform for me to pay it forward and create a message of hope dedicated to reducing relationship violence against women,” says Flowers.

Junita’s Jar makes mini-cookies in three flavors: triple chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and oatmeal-peanut butter chocolate chip. The company’s production space is a shared commercial kitchen.

“When I first started my cookie production, I knew a shared kitchen model would best suit [me]. During that time, I was not only starting my own cookie business, but I was also still adjusting to my role as a solo parent,” says Flowers. “The kitchen allowed me more flexibility and the opportunity to work alongside other chefs, bakers, and culinary professionals who understood the challenges of entrepreneurship.”

Junita’s Jar initially set out to donate 10% of the company’s profits to support domestic violence education and awareness initiatives, but Flowers wanted to do more. That’s how Cookies and Conversations was created.

Flowers says that food has always been a tool to bring communities together to talk about the hard things and celebrate the wins. In that tradition, Junita’s Jar uses cookies to spark conversations with college students with the goal of reducing shame experienced by victims, creating communities of allies among peers and equipping students to take action against relationship violence. The conversations are designed to remove barriers to getting support and to open dialogue about domestic violence.

“[Working to eliminate relationship violence] represents the change I want to see in the world, and that creates the legacy I want my company to be known for,” says Flowers.