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When her daughter, Josie, was born in 2019, Sabrina Mead of Ankeny became the CFO of her own business. For the record, that’s Chief Flour Officer. Her Hello Cookie business has taken off with flying colors, and she couldn’t be happier.
With a degree from Des Moines Area Community College in graphic design and photography, she opened a photography business in Clive. However, when Josie arrived, that all changed.
“I simply couldn’t put her in daycare every day, so I decided to adapt.”
Her thought was to help people create good memories. “I thought that a cookie business would help others celebrate holidays and special memories. I have a creative spirit, and I love helping people,” Sabrina says. “I learned from my mother and grandmother about decorating cookies and cakes, and I thought, why not?”
For those who want to be creative but still get a head start on the process, she also offers DIY cookie kits. She makes a baker’s dozen cutout sugar cookies—that’s 13—and adds in three bags of colorful buttercream frostings, complete with pastry tips already in the pastry bags. “It just helps them get a jump start on the cookie-making process. It’s also great for kids to do.”
For another innovation, she offers box kits of Santa, Christmas stocking, and gingerbread man cookies, along with a star or an ornament as the fourth cookie choice.
Needless to say, Sabrina has been surprised by word-of-mouth advertising.
Last December she created a Facebook page, which also brought lots of business. She also offers Elf on a Shelf box kits, served up in a pizza box, complete with cookie pizza and donut shapes. She also has Advent calendars, with a cookie for each day of Advent. Prices range from $12 to $70.
For her cutout sugar cookies with buttercream icing, she has tweaked a family recipe. Sometimes she uses a “soft bite” royal icing. “Some royal icings are just too hard. They are pretty, but they can be hard. I don’t want the cookie to crunch when eaten.”
Besides Christmas, there are other special times for sugar cookies—Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Easter, along with baby showers and birthdays.
Sabrina finds it is best to bake cookies after Josie goes to bed. She does point out that Josie’s first word was “cookies.” She says her husband, Jacob, is great about helping with Josie when she has big orders.
Character cookies are her favorite kind of cookies to decorate. She also loves making cookies for baby showers. “I love being part of the process,” she says. She recently knocked herself out for the birthday party of a niece, who had a unicorn tea party theme.
Besides sugar cookie cutouts, she also makes other standard cookies, such as chocolate chip and chocolate crinkle.
She belongs to a Des Moines group called the Des Moines Cookiers. “It’s great. If there’s a logo I need, I can call and ask someone if they have it. We all share.” She also has two 3-D printers for making her own custom cookie cutters.
If you love cookies, you can be Sabrina’s instant friend.
Her belief: “Baking and decorating cookies is therapeutic for me. It helps me to be creative.” •