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“My blog is a collection of tidbits about the things I love... sugar cookies, baking, great food, cute stuff, and life in Happy Valley. Check back often for updates!!”

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Handmade is Best!

posted Thursday Jan 28, 2010 at 02:43 PM by Anne Yorks — 34 comments

The cool thing about Flour Box cookies is that they are handmade. A person pushes the rolling pin. A person individually cuts out each cookie. And a person squeezes the piping bag to create the cookie design. I think that makes the cookies taste even better! Handmade is where it’s at!!

So let’s take a break from the cookie talk and focus on two amazing handmade gifts that were given to my daughter and I. I think you’ll agree that these ladies need to open a shop on www.etsy.com … stat! This kind of talent needs to be shared with the world, right?

For Christmas, my sister-in-law, Kate, gave my daughter a handmade picnic set. This is the set, all handmade…

Take a closer look…the detail is amazing!

These look good enough to eat. Especially those cookies with the brown button chocolate chips.

The peanut butter and jelly sandwich is ready to go. And the hoagie roll, yummy, baked just the way I like it. You can’t quite see it in the pictures, but the tomatoes have the ‘flesh’ sewn in and the chips (see above pic) have ridges sewn in. Nothing was overlooked!

Here’s another handmade gift I want to share…a beautiful scarf knitted by my other sister-in-law, Kim. She made a scarf for my daughter and I liked it so much that I asked her to make me one too.

The yarn is soft, yet sturdy. The knit is tight, so it won’t let the Pennsylvania winter air anywhere near my neck!

The length is great…

Did you notice the colors? As the queen of pink, this scarf is perfect for me. The two-tone look really adds nice style to this accessory!

Kate and Kim definitely have a creative gift.

Oh yes, handmade is best!

Have a sweet day,

Anne

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A Flurry of Activity

posted Tuesday Jan 26, 2010 at 09:40 PM by Anne Yorks — 1 comments

The first day of my new site proved to be even more exciting than I ever thought possible. Here are the highlights…

First, people are ordering. After all this work, it is so satisfying to have orders coming in. I want people to enjoy looking at the cookie pics. I want people to read my blog. But, I really want people to order cookies. It is so super cool that after all the work and expense, that the site works as a store front. I really appreciate all my customers (and future customers). Thanks to everyone for their orders on this first day!

Second, I received so many compliments about my cookie designs. Especially my valentine owls and my lovebugs. See the pics here…

My Owls (I am planning a separate blog post on this particular cookie. It has a story behind it)

My Lovebugs (don’t you love their little heart wings?)

Third, my Facebook fanpage jumped from 4 fans to 112 and counting. Each time I check the page, the number grows. The best part is that I don’t recognize a lot of the names on the list. That means that a ton of people are finding me through their friends’ posts. I read all the comments on my fanpage and was truly touched about all the kind and encouraging messages. What a great way to start off.

Fourth, I got four requests on custom orders in a matter of minutes. People emailed me about a party they are throwing with a specific theme and asked if I could do the cookies. Heck yeah I’ll do the cookies! I love custom orders. It’s fun to branch out into new cookie designs and try something new. I hope those request keep on coming!

Fifth, Tim Shutes, my web designer continues to polish the site. The search feature was added today as well as the newsletter sign-up. He is so talented. The search feature will weed through my products, all my site pages, and all my blog posts. What a great resource for my customers. I really think the search will be a great asset to the site.

That’s all for now…I need to get a great night’s rest because I’ve got some baking to do!

Have a sweet day,
Anne

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What's in a Name??

posted Friday Jan 22, 2010 at 02:11 PM by Anne Yorks — 8 comments

When I originally decided to start my business it was focused on candy, and not so much on cookies. I had a dream one night of candy falling from the clouds…which is exactly how I imagine heaven to be. So, I decided to call my business ‘Taste of Heaven’. Some of my repeat customers have used my old web address, www.tasteofheavencandy.com.

After some time, the cookie side of my business really started to take off. I was getting custom orders left and right. It was very exciting! Being a baker all my life, I enjoyed the new business growth and couldn’t wait to expand into more cookie designs. It wasn’t long before I knew I really wanted to pursue this cookie thing a little more.

And since I wanted to take things in a new direction, I felt like I needed a new name and look. Plus, www.tasteofheaven.com is a, ummm, well it’s a…’gentleman’s club’ in Chicago. I had way too many people forget the ‘candy’ on my web address and type in the wrong name to be surprised by dancing girls, especially friends from church (YIPE!). I really wanted to get away from that name.

I have been working on the concept for more than a year, and I am so excited to finally have my new site, logo, and business plan in full effect. Watch out world! I’m making you sweeter, one cookie at a time!

One of the most difficult parts of the process was deciding on a name. I wanted it to be unique, memorable and true to what I do. Some of the names that did not work out were:

Happy Valley Cookies (I live near State College which is referred to as Happy Valley)
Dripping with Sugar (this name made my mouth water)
Cookie Bomb (this name was both mine and my brother’s favorite, but in light of what is going on in the world, I decided it wouldn’t work out)
Daisy Kitchen (I’ll come back to this soon)
Bella Cookie (Bella ended up being a little too ‘trendy’ for me)

And the list goes on. I actually came up with 30 names and emailed them to my friends for input.

Then a few days later I was in my kitchen and I looked at the art on my wall. It’s a big daisy photograph taken by the very talented Pat Little, a local artist/photographer.

I started to daydream about daisy cookies and then it hit me. My favorite two things are flowers and cookies…and I love a little play on words…so my new company name was born…FLOUR BOX BAKERY! Please take some time to check out my cookies. I will be updating my site and blog weekly, so stop back often.

I have to say, it feels pretty good to be living my dream!

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