Sunday, February 21, 2010

Baby steps led to Heidi's Cookie Creations' success

Heidi surrounded by her signature bouquets

Some people think that success is a matter of luck. Heidi Thorsteinson knows better.

Heidi's home grown custom cookie business was built on solid hard work. She spent five years researching, planning, testing, and refining her cookies to perfection. As her reputation grew – primarily by word of mouth - so did her customer base. This slow and steady process, sometimes measured in small steps, has brought Heidi her own brand of good luck.

How did it all begin?

Heidi was introduced to baking as a child. With the help of her Betty Crocker oven and later her mother's toaster oven, she churned out mini cookies and cakes under the watchful eye of her mom. By the time she reached adulthood, Heidi's repertoire had expanded to include all kinds of cookies –sweet harvests of her labour of love.

Samples of Heidi's baked-to-order cookies

The nudge to graduate from hobby to business happened by chance.

Like other moms who participate actively in her children’s school life, Heidi did her share of doling out orders on food day, transporting students on field trips, and reading stories to foster student literacy. One day, she brought a platter of mini decorated sugar cookies to her children’s pre-school and blew the teachers away. Have you thought of selling them, they asked? Well, the rest is history.

How did it grow?

Like Rome, however, Heidi’s cookie business was not built in a day. It required diligent experimentation to arrive at the right formula for great taste and a flawless look. It chewed up hours of Internet time searching for inspiring ideas. And it also demanded the courage to start charging for her hard-won signature pieces.

“At first I just asked customers to cover the cost of supplies at $2 per cookie. The next order was $2.50 per cookie. Next order was $3 per cookie. Next was a $30 cookie platter. In the beginning it was hard to price myself. I came up with it gradually. It took a lot to say $4 a cookie," says Heidi.

Although she does most of her business in Steveston, Heidi has expanded into North Vancouver, West Vancouver, and beyond the border to Seattle. Her cookies have traveled to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Nova Scotia and an order of her golf course cookies has even gone all the way to a wedding in St. John’s, New Brunswick.

Heidi attributes her success to her quality product and highly personalized service. At Heidi’s Cookie Creations, every batch is baked to order. This Steveston’s small home-based business is poised to win customers over, one cookie at a time.

Lovingly crafted cookies for Valentine's Day

Heidi on the Web

Heidi's business made its debut online on February 17, 2008. Her website was hosted on Steveston Kids' site and provided a great new way to introduce her products to potential customers. So successful was this website that two years since it went live, Heidi decided that it was time to have her own Internet identity with her own URL. She encourages everyone to visit her at her new website at and take a look around.

What’s next?

When asked what’s next on her agenda, Heidi says that she is contemplating marrying two of her passions – cookie creation and event planning – in the form of cookie parties for children.

“All the parents would need to provide is a table with disposable table cloths. I would bring all of my supplies such as pre-made cookies on a stick, terracotta planters, pre-mixed royal icing, sprinkles and other decorating items. I would guide the children in this creative activity. They can make it as nice as they want, as detailed as they want, or as simple as they want,” says Heidi.

Congratulations on your new website and thriving business, Heidi! We hope 2010 will bring you closer to your goal of conquering the world, one delectable bite at a time.

Heidi and daughter Hallie with the the Hearts for Haiti cookies they baked to help victims of last month's devastating earthquake

1 comment:

  1. Wow, great job! I have been toying with the same idea. Cookie business. I have dabbled in cake decorating for some time now, but seem to enjoy doing the cookies more. I'd attach a few of my favorite pictures but am not sure how at this point.