Last year proved to be the best yet for Flour Box Bakery! Thank you so much to my family, friends, and customers that supported and encouraged me in my cookie adventure. So, before I move forward to see what 2015 holds, here is a quick look back at the best moments of 2014:
1. Attending and teaching at CookieCon in March in Salt Lake City. CookieCon, organized by Mike and Karen Summers of www.karenscookies.net and www.cookiecon.net, was an amazing opportunity to meet other bakers, learn new techniques, and try new products. I taught a decorating basics seminar and was fortunate to meet decorators from coast to coast and internationally! You can read more about my CookieCon Experience on this blog post.
2. Making cookies for Jim Parsons, Sheldon of the Big Bang Theory, to celebrate his 4th Emmy win for best actor in a comedy. It was a really thrilling experience to make cookies for the funniest guy on TV! After he Instagrammed a photo, the news was out. Check out the full story and the full set of cookies here!
3. Starting Flour Box Cookie School. This was the first full year I have taught cookie decorating in my garage bakery. After getting several requests, I decided to the take the leap and set up a few classes. I would really like to thank the 2014 sponsors for making it possible: Notta Cookie, Ribbon by Design, BRP Box Shop, the Cookie Countess. I have met dozens of other decorators through cookie school and have appreciated these new friendships that have formed with decorators locally and beyond. Here's a fun look at what we do at Cookie School . So far, the 2015 Cookie School classes are all full. But I will be adding more dates for the Summer and Fall in the next few months.
4. Meeting Bernie from Tender Hands India. One of the greatest highlights of the year from Cookie School was meeting Bernie, the co-founder of Tender Hands India. She traveled from Mumbia, India to take a cookie class while she was home in the states visiting family. Bernie helps train women rescued from human traffiking. Her program offers training in baking and decorating cakes, cupcakes and cookies!! My husband and I were able to give her dozens of supplies to take back to India to help with training. We are also now financial supporters of Tender Hands, too. We are dedicated to helping Tender Hands can't wait continue helping in 2015. Here I am with Bernie after class. She looks normal, but trust me, she is so amazing she might actually be a super hero in disguise!
5. Keynote speaker at the Penn State College of Ag Springboard dinner. A good friend of mine is a entrepreneur professor at Penn State. He has been very encouraging to me throughout all phases of my business. This past spring, he invited me to be the keynote speaker at their annual dinner. I spoke to a crowd of about 100 students and business owners/alums about the crossroads and trials of setting up a small business. We had a fun night meeting other budding entrepreneurs!
6. This year proved to be an amazing year of giving back - a founding principle of Flour Box Bakery. I get dozens of donation requests a month. And, while I can't do them all, I do as many as my schedule permits. In 2014 Flour Box donated hundreds of cookies to local organizations and events, gave thousands of dollars in charitable donations, and hosted several girl scout and student group tours in the bakery to discuss goal setting, running a business, and dreaming big. It has been a pleasure giving back to a community that supports Flour Box throughout the year! Here is a special donation created for a local police barracks during National Police Week.
7. This year I designed and had produced my very first cookie cutter design. It's available in my online shop here. I designed it to be both a princess and peacock, but has also been a bee, a hot air balloon, a bride, and I have a fun list of more designs to come in 2015!
8. Making cookie videos! We dabbled quite a bit in the cookie video world this past year and are super excited to say that more videos will be coming in 2015. There are a handful of informative video tutorials now available on our website. We also did several fun Instagram videos. And we are working on start-to-finish 'timelapse' videos like the making of the Santa cookie that was posted at the very end of the year on the Flour Box Facebook and YouTube accounts. Check it out ...
9. This probably goes without saying, but a huge highlight of the year was creating thousands and thousands and thousands of hand-iced cookies. At times, the schedule felt grueling, the but the results were incredible. Here are some of my favorite projects.
10. To top off an amazing year, Flour Box Bakery was so honored to be the Jan/Feb Penn Stater Magazine Cover Article. A pdf file of the full article can be downloaded here. Coming from a long line of Penn Staters, this was truly a honor for me, Flour Box Bakery, and my entire family!!
That's it... au revoir 2014! Bring on 2015!