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5 Questions with That Minnesota Cookier

Cara Aune started her business That Minnesota Cookier in October 2020. The Grand Forks Herald sat down with her for this week’s 5 Questions article to ask her about how she got into baking and selling cookies.

That Minnesota Cookier Cookies.jpeg
A batch of That Minnesota Cookier sugar cookies.

Cara Aune started her business That Minnesota Cookier in October 2020. The Grand Forks Herald sat down with her for this week’s 5 Questions article to ask her about how she got into baking and selling cookies.

Q: When did you get into baking?

A: I think I really kind of my whole life I was into baking rather than cooking. I’d rather do that. But, when I really started baking cookies it was around October 2019. That’s when I made my very first batch of sugar cookies and decorated them.

Q: Why did you decide you wanted to turn your hobby of baking cookies into a business?

A: I began selling my cookies to just family and friends, and they were kind of a hit. As I did some research in Grand Forks, I realized there was no business that really specialized in the custom sugar cookie market. I think it was just about a year after I began in October 2020 is when I put it out to the world that I’m selling cookies, and I started getting my cottage food license and kind of went from there. I think I also just needed a hobby. With COVID and everything going on I needed something to distract my mind. I never really had a true hobby, and once I started I just kept on going.

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Q: Do you bake any other kinds of cookies?

A: I currently only do regular, I guess you would call it the original sugar cookie with royal icing, but I do custom orders. I also put out orders during the holiday time with a presale for different types of cookies. I have a recipe for around holiday time for different flavors of cookies, like a spice cookie, or a cinnamon cookie that are also along the sugar cookie line, but they have different flavors to them. I also have a hot chocolate cookie. So, hopefully this upcoming holiday season I’m able to push those out to the world and have a few different flavors.

Q: What is your advice to people on how to make good cookies?

A: I always say I’d rather have a good-tasting cookie over a perfect-looking cookie. Making custom sugar cookies is really about design and really doing unique pictures or designs on the cookie. But, I think the key to it is really having a good-tasting sugar cookie, a good recipe and just being creative. Have different ideas on how to design different cookies and be willing to take risks and push the boundaries.

Q: What was it like starting and running your business during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: I really only started because of COVID-19, so I’m not sure if it’s completely impacted it. The only thing I’ve changed since the very beginning is that I now make sure that all of my cookies are individually packaged. I get a lot of those questions ahead of time, so now it’s just a thing I do. Instead of not packaging every single one, I heat seal every single one so they stay fresh. I’ve done a few weddings and birthday parties, and I think that’s always the main thing that people ask is if it’s COVID-friendly, and they certainly are. I think that may be the only way it’s changed for me, because I only started during COVID-19.

That Minnesota Cookier.jpeg
That Minnesota Cookier logo

Jacob Holley joined the Grand Forks Herald as its business reporter in June 2021.

Holley's beat at the Grand Forks Herald is broad and includes a variety of topics, including small business, national trends and more.

Readers can reach Holley at jholley@gfherald.com.Follow him on Twitter @JakeHolleyMedia.
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