Karen Wicks, the owner of Blue Box Confectionary, didn’t start baking cookies because she wanted to open a business. Ultimately, she started baking cookies because . . . well, she liked baking cookies.
“I love baking, especially my sugar cookies (an old secret Midwestern family recipe),” says Wicks, discussing what moved her to turn a baking addiction into a small cottage food business based out of her home in Plano, Texas. “I would bake constantly and have to find people to give them away to because my husband found it detrimental to his waistline being surrounded by cookies.”
As Michel Fortin so eloquently stated, “Do what you love and the business will follow.”
In this case, the adage has proven true. Armed only with a love for baking, Wicks decided to start Blue Box Confectionary as a side business in January of 2015, while maintaining life as a full-time employee—of the cubicle-confined variety—and a committed mother of two active children. Then, after an unfortunate layoff at the end of the year, Wicks decided it was time to go all in.
“I found myself out of a job after cutbacks at the end of 2015 and saw this as my opportunity to grow the business into something more serious,” says Wicks.
At the moment, Blue Box Confectionary is still small and is known as a cottage food business, which limits the company’s potential clientele. A cottage food business is a home-based, cooking/baking company run out of a person’s private residence, which was actually illegal in Texas prior to 2011 due to an inability to regulate food quality and standards.
The Texas Cottage Food Law now allows small food businesses, like Blue Box Confectionary, to exist, but it strictly regulates the types of foods that can be sold, the amount of profit the business can gross, and the venues or methods through which goods can be offered.
“Ideally, it will grow enough steady business to rent commercial kitchen space and become licensed as a commercial bakery business so I can ship and use ecommerce tools,” says Wicks.
Once she’s secured a commercial license, Wicks hopes to attract the larger business market instead of simple private consumers.
“My general plan is to cultivate business clients rather than private individuals. Custom cookies, cupcakes, petit fours, et cetera make great gifts for new and valued clients, as well as tasty treats for business presentations, meetings, and just because in the break room,” says Wicks.
Already, the Blue Box Confectionary Facebook page features a variety of drool-worthy photos: a cookie pyramid with ninja faces for one special birthday boy, Halloween cupcakes with fearsome candy knives protruding from pink icing brains, and beautiful leaf-shaped cookies with icing shaded in autumn yellows and reds. Clearly, these desserts are something special.
Wicks is optimistic about her future plans for the small business, and, more than anything, she’s enjoying the satisfaction of seeing her love of baking manifest into something profitable for her and enjoyable for her customers.
“It’s still tiny,” says Wicks, “but I love the chance to be creative and it is very satisfying to see others enjoy something I made.”
To place an order or learn more about Blue Box Confectionary, you can visit their business page HERE. Or email Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org .
About the Author – Ashley Choate is a native of Jacksonville, FL where she lives with her son, dog, and three cats. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Jacksonville University with a BA in English and holds an MAED in Adult Education and Training. She lives for reading and writing, learning and teaching, and figuring out the day-to-day traumas and joys of mommyhood. .