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Junior launches cookie-decorating business, Brown’s Cookies

Junior+launches+cookie-decorating+business%2C+Brown%E2%80%99s+Cookies
Zara Samdani / The SPOKE

By Zara Samdani, Co-Copy Editor

For most teenagers, baking during the COVID-19 pandemic meant microwaving mug cakes until smoke detectors rang. But for junior Zion Brown, it was an opportunity to launch a lucrative business: Brown’s Cookies.

Brown’s Cookies serves homemade, customized sugar cookies for weddings, birthday parties and other large gatherings. Since its inception in 2021, Brown’s business has expanded. As of now, she receives an average of two to three orders per month, designs up to 300 cookies per order and prepares multiple flavors, from vanilla to chocolate to peppermint. She has also launched a website, brownscookies.com, where she displays her cookies and advertises her business.

“My process is really, really customized and tuned to the individual,” Brown said. “I have a conversation initially with the client. I first ask them, ‘What’s their vision? What’s their vision for that event? Are they planning something for somebody else? What reaction do they want on their face?’ That level of personalization with what they need (the cookies) for and what (designs) they like to have on them sets me apart from my competition.”

Brown, who has experimented with food since she was 9, crafted her own recipe for chocolate chip cookies during the pandemic. After receiving positive feedback from friends and family, her dad urged her to take her interests to the next level.

“My dad proposed to me the idea of having my own business. I began scrolling on Pinterest and saw a set of engagement party cookies,” Brown said. “They were so elaborate and detailed, and I could tell that there was thought behind the design. I was like, ‘Can I do that too?’ I got in my kitchen, made some rudimentary icing and experimented. I was like, ‘Wait — that works.’”

Brown employs a meticulous process to decorate her cookies. She begins by sketching the customer’s design on a piece of paper. Using her own recipe, she bakes the desired number of sugar cookies and allows them to cool. She uses royal icing, dyed with food coloring, to create a smooth base layer. She then utilizes pipettes, spreading knives and toothpicks to capture the intricacies of the design.

“It is very complex. I have to space out the processing in my cookies because you never want your icing to get too dry. You never want your cookies to dry out either because the cookie is ultimately used,” Brown said. “During the summer, humidity levels are really high, which also has a huge impact on baking.”

Her process has evolved. It now takes her up to several days to create her cookies from start to finish. Brown attributes this not only to the increasing complexity of her designs but also to her desire to maintain a work-life balance.

“I (have) a one-woman business which is sometimes a challenge, especially because I’m a student as well. I have other things going on, other projects that I’m working on,” Brown said. “But of course, whenever it’s time to make an order, I go into Brown’s Cookies mode.”

In the future, Brown hopes to refurbish her website and increase the number of customers in her business.

“I see my (business) growing slowly over time, and I’m okay with it. I’m satisfied. I’m excited for what the future has to come,” Brown said. “I am creative at heart. I love being able to design and take input from my clients. And I really just enjoy experimenting with a new medium of artistic expression because (cookie decorating) truly is an art to me.”


Zara Samdani can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Zara Samdani, Co-T/E Life Editor
Zara Samdani is a junior and the Co-T/E Life Editor of The Spoke. She covers school activities, student features and local events. Outside of the newsroom, she supports Girl Up, an organization that advocates for girls' rights, and plays for Conestoga's squash team.