Latest posts by Julie Zantopoulos (see all)
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It was pure happy coincidence that I happened across Erin and her fantastic site but once I did I knew I had to order from her! My cousin was having girl troubles so I sent him a basket sure to help him with the ladies. I picked the most sassy and offensive cookies possible and let him know I hoped it help him land some lovin’. After a fiasco where he provided the wrong address, Erin sweetly re-sent fresh cookies with a note informing the idiot of his address and suggested he keep the card on him in case he got lost. I fell in love. Turns out my cousin ate all the cookies because they were “too good and no ass can be better than that cookie”. His words. So, when I was left to brainstorm about a sassy chick I could feature this week the clear choice was Erin of The Bitter Baking Company.
How did you come up with the idea behind, not just a cookie business, but the snarky witty comment cookies?
The idea came from my friends, Jessica and Carolyn, spending too much time on the cakewrecks.com website. Sometimes when “professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong” they have an unplanned sarcastic twist. This appeals to Jessica because she can’t have a conversation without everything being drenched in sarcasm, otherwise her tiny, shriveled, black heart feels a little warm and fuzzy and she doesn’t know to handle that. I took this idea and figured out how to make it easily accessible to the masses via cookies. Carolyn and Jessica wrote funny saying and I baked, baked, and baked.
Working in Corporate America could make anyone bitter. To cope with the soul-crushing, mind-numbing banality of this situation, I decided to combine my loves – baking and bitterness – into a singular pursuit. Once my friends tasted my confections, they urged me to quit my day job and bake full time. So I did. Whether you’re looking for a unique way to tell someone that it’s over or want to send your heartfelt sympathy to a friend who got a speeding ticket, The Bitter Baking Company has the cookie for you. I should mention that many of our cookies use colorful language to help you convey that special sentiment, so they may not be appropriate treats for say, a child’s birthday. But, for the birthday of your baby daddy, we have just the thing!
Do you come from a cooking/baking background or is it just something you are passionate about?
I spent my summers on a farm in Indiana and in the kitchen with my Grandma Hall. She was an amazing cook and fed a lot of farmers and family all day, every day. When I was with her in the kitchen she would always include me in the process. I’d make my own little batch of baked goods so I could learn right beside her. It was something I just loved doing with her and it brings me so much comfort, even now.
Do you have an actual store front people can visit or are you strictly online? If you don’t have a store is that something you hope to have one day?
Currently there is no store front but HELL YES, I want one. Our cookies are sold in packages of 6, and are made, frosted and shipped to order anywhere in the U.S. Every penny earned goes back into the business or is saved for that very thing. I have all sorts of ideas that will create a very unique experience for customers who visit our shop. It’s going to be amazeballs.
You seem to have taken off with some celebrity clients on twitter. How have you used social media marketing to help your business?
Honestly, I don’t know a damn thing about this social media business. I can’t tell you if I’m doing it right or wrong because I’m too busy making cookies. I use Facebook and Twitter with some success though. If you like my sarcastic charm then we’ll cross paths and something beautiful will happen. The business has just grown from people finding us online, ordering cookies, and sharing us with friends. Word of mouth has been very good to me.
Tell us, how do you brainstorm for your cookie slogans? I’m picturing wine and girlfriends just chatting and you with a notebook. They are so hilarious I can almost hear my friends saying them when I read them!
That’s exactly how it happens but without the wine-we eat a lot of cheese instead. It usually involves pointing fingers, making fun of each other, and the inability to stay focused. I’m not actually sure how it gets done now that I think about it. Sometimes fans will send us sayings to use or someone like mentalpoo.com will attempt to bribe us and get his own line of cookies on the site. *which by the way are some of my favorites since a good number of them are hockey related!*
If I’m not mistaken you started out with a basic sugar cookie but you offer other flavors now. Did that come from frequent requests for other cookies or were you just ready to branch out?
We were waiting to branch out to see if our idea would catch on, then the mental poo line of cookies was created and Rodney said he received a lot of feedback about people wanting other flavors. We added toffee crunch and oatmeal raisin to the options but the sugar cookie is still our top seller. People always seem surprised by how delicious they are.
Can people get their own snarky saying put on a cookie?
We have a minimum order of 6 cookies regardless of whether the cookies are from our site or customized. We are happy to put your snark on a cookie. We design inside jokes, photographs, themes, etc. We print on edible paper and use edible ink. We create them for the same $3 per cookie price that our regular cookies sell for. We also have a nicer side and take orders for weddings, parties, corporate events, and more.
We here at The Indie Chicks are all about hard work and making your dreams come true. What was your journey like from idea to where you are now? What is your greatest take away lesson from the whole process.
The journey was fun. Isn’t that the whole point? While I do have long term goals, I like being in the moment and really connecting with people and ideas. Hard work, consistent effort, sharing with others and having some damn fun is what it’s all about. Well, that and never, ever, skipping dessert.
The best part of this Spotlight, aside from the fact that Erin is amazing and her cookies are bad ass…well she’s going to offer you a discount!! Use the code: IndieChicks now through October 31st to get 35% off orders of $18 or more. You can also check out more of her custom cookies on Flickr (I swear it’s like food porn they are so pretty!). I want to send a big thank you to Erin, who left her baking to answer these questions and the best way I know how is with one of her very own cookies!