Tell me about you, how you’ve come to love desert and ultimately decide to open Twisted Cookie.
As a kid I would always rush through dinner just to get to dessert. I would of actually skipped dinner if I was allowed to! But beyond how good it all tasted, I was always intrigued by how it was made. I loved watching my mom and my grandmother every time they baked and was always eager to learn and go beyond what they did. I wanted to create my own versions of desserts. Little did I know, that as an adult, I would end up in the desserts industry! When I started Twisted Cookie, I went with the idea that I wanted to create something new, something nobody had seen before. That's how the Cupcake Cookie came to be! I loved the idea of turning a cupcake into a cookie. From there, I did the same thing with pies... I turned them into cookies. It all started with one product in many flavors and eventually evolved to what it is today. I still like to bake some traditional items in my store, but my core items all have a "twist!"
How do you decide which desert and ingredient pairings to put on your menu?
All of my desserts are inspired by what I personally like to eat and what I can create first in my mind. Not all of my ideas turn out as good as I visualize. Sometimes, it's a long process to take them from an idea to a final product that you can taste, and hopefully say, "wow this is good!"
Why did you choose to open your business in Forest Park?
I decided on Forest Park because I love Madison street and everybody knows about it. You go to the city and mention Forest Park, and people instantly know the strip where all the restaurants and bars are located. I also loved the idea of working close to where I live.
What has been the biggest downside?
The biggest downside is not having enough hours in the day to execute all the ideas. Sometimes I feel like I'm not as productive as I should be in promoting my store. Besides baking and overseeing the whole operation, there are other very important aspects that need everyday attention in the marketing of a business. I have an amazing team that help bring it all together on a daily basis, but at the end of the day it's my responsibility if certain things don't get done.
What advice would you give someone who wants to open a small business / restaurant in Forest Park?
Do as much research as possible but don't get too caught up in it that you waste time. At the end of the day, the execution is what's most important. Yes, you are going to make mistakes, but you have to physically do it in order to learn. That's ultimately how you become successful, by taking a chance, believing in yourself and making it happen. People have ideas all day long on ways to start their own business, but the fact is that many never do it, it remains only an idea. Yes, it's always a risk, but it's a risk you take while you continue to educate yourself. Never stop learning. Don't be afraid to start, nobody knows it all.
What are your three favorite menu items in Twisted Cookie right now?
My 3 personal favorite menu items are...
1. Banana Pudding Cupcake Cookie
2. Apple Pie Cookies Al a Mode
3. Turtle Brownie Sundae