Connect
To Top

Conversations with Katie Craddock

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Craddock.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Beautifully Delicious bakery started as a reason to play with recipes, edible art and have fun creating for family and work events. The name was one I had doodled for years, in the same way I doodled my married name and my children’s names. When the girls (now 9 and 6) were younger, I enjoyed throwing elaborately themed birthday parties for my daughters but really only focused on cakes at the time. As my oldest decided she didn’t like cake anymore, I began to search for other options. I was drawn to the intricacy and endless possibilities of sugar cookies. In luck, she loved them! The first birthday cookies and many more hundreds of the first cookies tasted much better than they looked. I am self-taught and continue to learn much by error, but no one ever turned a cookie down, as ugly as some of them were. As I continuously remind my girls, practice makes better, and oh, how far I have come.

In the beginning, I manned every aspect of the bakery by myself. I gave and eventually sold to friends and family who encouraged me with love and support. In January of 2017, my sister decided I needed a logo and so Beautifully Delicious was born. Starting in March of 2018, my husband, Zach, started baking everything. He has greatly improved our recipe and the efficiency of our operation. I could not have grown the Beautifully Delicious bakery without him. He bakes in our kitchen and I decorate in my studio in our basement. His workspace is much more organized than mine. Much of our work is done after our daughters go to sleep. We are both special educators and work full-time in local school districts.

My grandmother was an artist, and in college, I started out at an art major but dreaded the idea of having to work for someone else. I eventually graduated with my master’s degree as a speech-language pathologist and have worked in a variety of settings for the last ten years. Although I love my career, I have been able to express myself creatively through my cookies. I enjoy adding my own bit of creativity and spark to custom orders and am honored to have the opportunity to completely design cookie sets for clients. Cookies fuel my soul in a way that I didn’t know I needed.

I’ve been teaching cookie decorating classes for the last 3.5 years. In addition to custom orders. During the pandemic, I was able to shift from in-person classes to virtual. This is what kept has our business going. I am excited to be back in person at full capacity this fall.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Initially, I was a one-woman show. It was fun and I literally created edible art out of flour, butter, and sugar. It was exciting. After about nine months, the demands were too much and my husband started doing all of the baking. Our weekly timing became streamlined and we were so much more efficient. This was a huge relief as I was able to focus on the beauty of our product, knowing that the baking was in good hands, although I’ve never let him touch my icing recipe.

About a year after we started, I was offered the opportunity to teach decorating classes at A Thyme for Everything in Downtown Lee’s Summit. This created a whole new aspect to our baking and prep timing and I was so nervous to teach something I’ve never taught before. As it turned out, I was pretty good at it and truly LOVE teaching and sharing all things cookies. I’m sure this has something to do with my experience as a teacher. Now I teach monthly classes at Pinot’s Palette in Olathe as well.

Still, this was our second job and my girls were young. I stopped one day and realized we were spending around 30 hours a week with the bakery. I was up too late and sleeping way too little to function efficiently. I was definitely on #teamnosleep, which is something I was not proud of. Working out of your home can and had easily more than I wanted to handle. Once I realized I needed a change, I slowly began setting limits and reassessed our goals. I was able to determine how much money I needed to make and started turning away orders. This killed me personally, but it was the best move personally and financially in the end.

Another recent roadblock has been a complete fluke. I went out for an evening run in the middle of May. I didn’t make it out of the neighborhood before I fell and broke three fingers on my right hand. I had never broken or bruised a single bone in my body and there I was with three crushed fingers. The process has been an incredible and an eye opening one. I have not been able to decorate a single cookie since the fall and am still in therapy, working to build up the strength in my decorating hand. I plan to be up and going with classes again this September. Life is a journey.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Our sugar cookies are a variation on shortbread. They are dense but soft and buttery with a hint of almond. The cookie itself is not super sweet. I use a cookie glaze icing, meaning that there is no egg whites or meringue powder in the recipe. This allows for a cookie that is soft to the bite but sets up enough to package and stack. It is important to us that they are not just beautiful but mouth-wateringly delicious. My clients say this is what sets our cookies apart.

As for my decorating style, I try to be diverse, but I don’t worry about getting too caught up in the trends. I enjoy trying new things and working with inspiration from my clients and other cookie artists. I love painting on cookies with edible watercolor, using a variety of textures and colors, and personalizing the cookie set to match the recipient(s).

Another thing that sets me apart is that do not offer decorated Christmas cookies. I teach people who take my classes throughout the year the techniques they need to spend time with their families and make their own Christmas Cookies they can be proud of. I do offer DIY kits and classes during the holiday season in the hope that people find the experience of decorating together a part of their family tradition and enjoy the process way we did as kids and still do now. Kits, virtual classes, recipes, and other decorating options are available on my website all year long.

Any big plans?
As my children are getting older and requiring more of our time, we have decided to finish this year out offering DIY kits and classes only. Because of the love and detail, I provide with custom orders, I want to make sure I have the time to commit to keeping our values and delivering a stunning product. I love teaching and feel I can reach and inspire more people by sharing my time this way.

The pandemic put a stop to private decorating parties, but I will be offering them again starting in September. These are perfect for ladies night, birthdays, team building, and any other special occasion. You provide the location and guests and I provide the rest!

Parties include: Demo/Instruction at your location, Sample set for the host to keep, Pre-baked naked cookies, Icing for your chosen design, Tools and supplies provided, Boxes to take cookies home, Cookie and Icing recipes, Setup and cleanup, Private link for your guests to sign up, Plenty of corny jokes.

People frequently ask me if we have plans to expand, but as of right now, I love my job as an educator and really enjoy cookies as a side gig.

Pricing:

  • Classes are around $35/person
  • DIY kits are between $20-30
  • Private Parties start at $35/person (6 person min)
  • September 18th at A Thyme for Everything
  • September 19th at Pinot’s Palette-Olathe

Contact Info:

Suggest a Story: VoyageKC is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Local Stories