LINCOLN – Olivia Sales, a Lincoln resident and Bryant University student, turned her love of art and baking into a gourmet cookie business called Sunflower Cookie Company.
“I started baking with my grandmother when I was really young,” said Sales. “I would always just make cookies for fun and give them to friends, family and neighbors, and then people started asking for customized orders. That’s when I thought OK, this could turn into something.”
Sales officially began selling cookies in September of 2021 when a classmate asked if she could make cookies for a birthday party. From there, Sales’ hobby evolved into a small business: Sunflower Cookie Co., which she affectionately named after her favorite Harry Styles song, “Sunflower, Vol. 6.”
In addition to running the business herself, Sales is a full-time student and works part-time at Bryant. For time management purposes, Sales requires all orders to be placed at least three weeks in advance.
This time frame allows Sales to plan her schedule accordingly, and gives her ample time to design the cookies, bake them, decorate them and package them. “I do everything by myself, so the planning keeps me from biting off more than I can chew,” said Sales.
After an order is placed, Sales will have a consultation with the customer. During this consultation, they discuss designs, themes, colors and pricing.
Sales then sketches cookie designs based on the information she is given and presents them to the customer to make sure they will be happy with what the final product looks like.
Sales said that customers will occasionally have a specific idea of what they want or show her photos of other cookies they’ve seen online. Most times, customers will give Sales just a color palette and theme and let her come up with her own designs.
Sales told The Breeze she prefers the latter; “When people say ‘go crazy’ and trust me with the designs, that’s when I have the most fun because then I get to be super creative.”
The actual baking begins about five days before the order is due, and decorating usually starts two days after that, depending on the intricacy of the designs and the quantity of cookies.
Orders are typically packaged the day before using a heat sealing machine, which helps the cookies stay fresh for up to two weeks.
From start to finish, Sales said an order of a dozen cookies takes about six hours of work.
Every component from the cookies to the icing is homemade by Sales herself. “It took a lot of tweaking and trial and error to get the recipes just right. It’s the kind of thing that took hours and hours to perfect.”
Learning to decorate and pipe the cookies took many hours to perfect as well, said Sales.
Besides the actual baking and decorating, Sales also enjoys the marketing side of running her own business. As a marketing major and a creative and applied arts minor, Sales gets to apply what she’s learned at Bryant to Sunflower Cookie Co.
Upon graduation in May, Sales wishes to pursue a career in digital marketing, while continuing to run her business on the side.
“I’m so glad I started selling my cookies,” said Sales. “I do it because I enjoy it. I put a lot of thought and creativity into each order. I really try to make every order unique and cater to every customer’s wants and needs. The best part of all of this, though, is seeing the smile on people’s faces when I give them their cookies.”
To see more of Olivia Sales’ cookies, visit Sunflower Cookie Co. on Facebook or sunflower.cookie.co on Instagram.
Welcome to the discussion.
Comments that will be deleted include:
What we at The Breeze would truly like to see are comments that add history and context to a story or that use criticism constructively.