Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Yokota Bakery makes 8-Year-old’s birthday wish come true

On Aug. 28, Isaac Morford, 8, poses with his custom Minecraft cookie baked by the Commissary and decorated by Yokota Bakery by special request from his mother, Mandy. The Morford family recently moved to Japan and lost track of time while unpacking and setting up their home and the start of a new school year. (Photo by Mandy Morford)
On Aug. 28, Isaac Morford, 8, poses with his custom Minecraft cookie baked by the Commissary and decorated by Yokota Bakery by special request from his mother, Mandy. The Morford family recently moved to Japan and lost track of time while unpacking and setting up their home and the start of a new school year. (Photo by Mandy Morford)

Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Yokota Bakery makes 8-Year-old’s birthday wish come true

by Mark A. Kauffman
Army & Air Force Exchange Service Public Affairs

YOKOTA AIR BASE – Birthdays aren’t complete without a treat to share—and the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s bakery at Yokota Air Base recently came to the rescue to make an 8-year-old’s special day extra sweet.

Maj. Alan Morford, 730th Air Mobility Squadron’s director of operations, and his family recent move to Yokota Air Base—their first overseas duty station— was more complex than they anticipated. With a hectic schedule of unpacking and preparing for school to start, Mandy lost track of time to plan a birthday party for her son Isaac, who was turning 8.

“I kind of forgot in Japan there isn’t a Walmart just up the road to buy all things Minecraft,” Mandy Morford said. “I seriously dropped the ball.”

Through social media, Mandy learned the Exchange’s bakery could custom decorate a giant cookie, which she purchased at the commissary in hopes of saving Isaac’s big day.  

The Exchange Yokota bakery team took it from there. Mandy met with Uji Battle, the bakery’s manager to quickly discuss decorating the cake with a custom Minecraft image for Isaac.

While decorating the cookie, Battle touched base with Morford several times to make sure that his team met her expectations.

“Getting it right the first time was really important to the team and me,” Battle said. “I am so happy that my team and I could help the Morford family celebrate Isaac’s birthday.”

The custom cookie saved the day for Isaac and make a special memory for his first birthday overseas.  

“Within six hours from asking for a plain cookie-cake at the commissary, to the bakery trying to decorate something they’ve never been asked to do before; the finished cookie was in our house at Yokota,” Mandy said. “I would like to thank the Yokota commissary and the Exchange bakery teams, who went above and beyond to help save my son’s birthday and certainly made it a memorable one for all of us.”   

The Exchange operates four bakeries overseas to bring a taste of home to service members and families. More than 9.9 million baked goods are produced annually.

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