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Rising Stars: Meet CC Starkweather

Today we’d like to introduce you to CC Starkweather.

Hi CC, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I’m a self-taught, home-based baker in Overland Park. I grew up in a family that loves to experiment in the kitchen and that joy definitely lives on in me! My mom loves to cook and my grandma loved to bake. So, I definitely learned my way around the kitchen at an early age. Fast forward to meeting my husband and starting a family and I found my special time with my girls more often than not involved baking cookies.

Custom Cookies by CC began out of my love for baking and bringing joy to my girls through our love of cookies and I want to share that love with you! After a little nudge from friends and family, this small business of mine was born in October 2019. I started out offering themed DIY sugar cookie decorating kits as an interactive activity for holidays, birthdays or just a fun rainy day activity.

Fast forward a few months later and the pandemic hit. All of a sudden everything was put on hold and we all needed things to keep our kids busy. I began creating theme after theme of DIY cookie decorating kits and taking custom requests. The response was incredible! Customers were ordering multiple kits at a time and gifting them to family, friends and neighbors. I saw how much joy people were having with my cookie kits during this very uncertain time and the best part was seeing the sense of community grow. This was my motivation to keep going and keep creating.

My chocolate chip cookies cakes have always been a crowd favorite and naturally were soon added to my menu! I’ve since expanded my menu to include custom-decorated sugar cookies and hot cocoa bombs.

Everything I offer is made from scratch with lots and lots of love to liven up your daily life and special occasions!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When I first started my business, I knew absolutely nothing about starting a small business. I knew I loved to bake and people raved about my cookies and cookie cakes, but how do I actually make a business out of this? How do I figure out how to promote myself on social media? How do I balance this with my family life and my girls? Then the pandemic hit and there was the added obstacle of finding ingredients like butter, sugar and flour.

With every obstacle, I realized I was not alone in my small business journey. The small business community in KC is nothing short of amazing and so great at supporting each other! I began connecting with more and more local KC small business owners and have developed some pretty awesome friendships along the way.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Custom Cookies by CC began out of my love for baking and bringing joy to my girls through our love of cookies and I want to share that love with others! I started out exclusively offering buttercream DIY sugar cookie kits. My kits continue to be very popular for holidays and my additional 20+ themed kits are great for birthdays or a rainy day activity.

Custom decorated sugar cookies are popular for special occasions such as baby showers, weddings and birthdays. Single decorated cookie gift boxes have been very popular for teacher gifts. Some popular party favor options include PYO (Paint Your Own) cookies and hot cocoa bombs in the winter.

I’m also known for my chocolate chip cookie cakes. My chocolate chip cookie cake is soft, chewy and packed with semi-sweet chocolate chips then topped with my signature buttercream frosting. You can choose from a frosted border with a simple message, a design from my design gallery or request a custom design. I also offer individual portions called cookie cups. These are a popular options for birthday parties, treats for classmates or co-workers.

Something that sets me apart is my signature buttercream frosting. It not only tastes delicious but makes the perfect consistency for cookie decorating kits. I also use my signature buttercream frosting when I decorate on cookie cakes and to decorate custom sugar cookies. I’m one of the few cookiers in the area who decorates with buttercream frosting. I prefer the taste of a thick, creamy buttercream frosting and was determined to learn how to decorate with buttercream vs. royal icing to accommodate this taste preference. My customers love it too!

Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
I often tell people starting my business was the most vulnerable thing I’ve ever done! At the same time, it’s turned into exactly what I didn’t know I needed in my life.

Sometimes you start something before you have all the details figured out. I knew I loved to bake and wanted to do share that passion with others, but there was also a lot of fear of the unknown. For example, I had absolutely no clue how to decorate cookies and cookie cakes when I started. My joy was in the baking and I hadn’t yet found the joy in decorating. I tried and tried again and eventually figured out my own technique and style with buttercream frosting. What if nobody likes my style? What if I can’t figure out how to decorate that requested design? I certainly did not know all the details of my business before I started and I’ve learned that’s okay! I’ve put in a lot of late nights, I’ve messed up and had to start all over, I’ve questioned myself a lot along the way. I’ve also completely surprised myself along the way! That’s the beauty of starting something, you figure out your own way.

Today, I have a new perspective on risk. One of my favorite local KC shops, Pink Antlers, has this quote right behind the checkout counter and I think of it often. The quote says, “What if I fall? Oh, but darling what if you fly?” So, for anyone considering pursuing a passion or dream, I say go for it! The rest will fall into place.

Pricing:

  • DIY Cookie Kits – $20 Half Dz $30 DZ
  • Custom Decorated Sugar Cookies – $36/dozen
  • Cookie Cake/Cookie Cups – starting at $30
  • Party Favors – $5
  • Hot Cocoa Bombs – $6

Contact Info:

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