It all started with a Facebook page. Back in 2018, Beverly Clutter decided to start showcasing her decorated cookies on social media, but she had no idea that it would soon turn into a business!
Beverly lives in Fairmont, WV and sells custom decorated sugar cookies, cakes, and other baked goods with her cottage food business, WV Cookie Jar.
At the recent national cottage food conference, Beverly earned the top spot on the leaderboard as the most active attendee (out of 900+ attendees), and her submissions into the photo contest were equally impressive.
Whether it is posting on social media, being hyper engaged at a conference, or teaching decorating classes to her local community, Beverly consistently puts herself (and her business) out there and focuses on serving others.
The result? A successful side business that has grown organically, brings her plenty of joy and freedom, and provides her family with some extra income.
For Mallory, it all started with a chocolate chip cookie. But that was just the beginning!
Mallory Dies, owner of The Crassy Cookie in Stafford, VA, tried selling many variations and flavors of her drop cookies, and ultimately found the most success with her innovative gourmet cookie sandwiches.
These cookie sandwiches are certainly unique. They range from “safe” flavors like rainbow chip, strawberry shortcake, or choco fudge brownie, all the way to more “oddball” flavors like blueberry lemon-lavandula, fruity pebbles, and matcha munchie.
Mallory shares how she slowly built a customer base (twice) and had self-doubts along the way. As an introvert, she resisted putting herself into her brand, but eventually “bit the bullet” and started developing significant engagement on social media.
She also shares many marketing ideas that have worked well for her business, like creating monthly boxes, adding bonuses to orders, and promoting her products in local Facebook groups.
Despite the many challenges with selling basic drop cookies (short shelf life, low perceived value, etc), Mallory has found many ways to make a cookie business work well for her.
Over the past decade, Jennifer Lopez and Emily Blattel have sold dozens of custom cakes that run the gamut from elegant buttercream cakes to realistic cake sculptures. The results are always exceptional, and sometimes they are nearly unbelievable!
This dynamic duo runs The Cake Mom & Co. from their homes in Paducah, KY and Scott City, MO.
Because they are both amazing cake decorators, I thought this interview would be focused solely on cake artistry.
But they ended up touching on so many facets of running a cake business that I had to split this episode into two parts. This is Part 2, and you can listen to Part 1 here.
In this second half of the interview, they covered startup advice, the ordering and design process, business partnerships, social media platforms, cake supplies, promotional giveaways, and cake competitions.
Jennifer also explained how she helped changed Kentucky’s cottage law, even though she initially had no intention of spearheading that effort!