To enter a raffle for a box of Katrin’s Father’s Day Cookies, leave a comment about the sweetest dad you know in the comments below. Deadline for entries: May 31st.
What inspired you to start Eye Cookies?
Katrin: I was always baking and loved to bring baked goods to friends. Then friends began asking me to bake for them and insisted on paying me. Next it was friends of friends, and suddenly I was being asked by strangers. At that point, I thought it would be a good idea to get a food license and look for a commercial kitchen.
How did you start?
Katrin: I was dragging to get my papers ready for the health department, but once I really set my mind to it, it was not as bad as it seemed and all fell into place. A friend came up with the name Eye Cookies and another friend created my logo. I rent a commercial kitchen space in Barrington, and find myself officially in business.
How do you balance work and family?
Katrin: I mostly do custom orders and ask for 7-10 days notice. This gives me enough space to work around my kids’ schedules or school-free days. I usually bake on Tuesdays or late in the evening when my husband can be with the kids. I love the quiet of the night and get most creative there. I am constantly sleep deprived and drink way too much coffee.
How has being a parent prepared you for running your own business?
Katrin: Being a mom trains you in being shocked by nothing, staying calm and extremely flexible. Those things come very handy in any situation life throws at you later. I am very good at multitasking. I never just watch the dough being kneaded – I do 10 different things in the meantime: unloading the dishwasher, cooking dinner, helping kids with their homework, listening to TED talks, making a doctor’s appointment, and setting the table.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Katrin: Coming from an office job at a big corporation, I enjoy most of all the process of creating something happy. My cookies put smiles on people’s faces when I deliver them. That makes me happy. It’s very rewarding!
I also like the variety of cookies I get to make. People have such interesting cookie ideas, and that gets my creative juices flowing. One order was a get-well-soon gift for someone who had dropped a knife on her foot. I made cookies illustrating this theme. One birthday boy loves squids–I had a great time shaping and decorating the squid cookies. Wedding cookies are a lot of fun to make too. I also love the challenge of creating an over-the-top cake. It’s impossible to choose a favorite.
Do you have any time-saving tricks that you could share?
When it comes to saving time at home: Â limiting food & drinks to the kitchen table; kids put away what they have used; never go anywhere with empty hands; cook big meals and freeze half for another day; and car-pooling.
What is your favorite children’s book or music?
Katrin: We are from Germany and keeping the German language alive is very important to us. Via books or music we easily incorporate German into our kids’ lives. We have exposed them to a lot of Otfried Preussler, Erich Kaestner, Michael Ende, Cornelia Funke and Astrid Lindgren (Swedish). We love everything from Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle. The “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” was a big hit in our house and I remember standing 3 hours in line waiting for an autograph at the Convention Center a couple of years ago.
What is the last great non-kid book or film that you loved?
Katrin: I recently saw Jeff, Who Lives at Home and liked it a lot. It’s all about things that are meant to be. I am a strong believer that things happen for a reason. And who doesn’t love Breaking Bad?
What’s next for you and your business?
Katrin: I would like to expand and make Eye Cookies more available to retail. I am planning to write a book about cookie decorating in German and am already talking to some editors. Maybe I’ll have my own bakery one day–until then, I will be making tons of cakes and cookies!
On May 19th and June 2nd from 4:00-6:00pm, I’ll be teaching cookie decorating (one class is for kids, the other is exclusively for adults) at Stock Culinary. To register for one of Katrin’s cookie decorating classes, register in advance at Stock Culinary, 756 Hope Street, Providence. You may also register by phone: 401.521.0101 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.