During the last year, Sugar Studios owner Daleen Grimes has provided sugar fixes in the form of cookies and baked goods from her Old Town Silverdale shop at 3330 N.W. Lowell St. This week marks her first year in business.
While baking has always delighted her, it’s the reaction she’s had from customers that’s made her experience that much sweeter, she said.
“(My favorite part has been) meeting this community that has embraced my craft of cookie design,” she said. “I have such loyal customers.”
Part of that is due to her ability to shape a cookie into any design. And if she doesn’t have the exact cookie cutter she wants — and she has around 350 of those — Grimes has her husband handcraft the design she needs. He’s hand-made Easter egg cutters, submarine cutters and even an Olaf-shaped one, a favorite character from the movie Frozen.
“Presentation is key to accentuating your cookies,” Grimes said while piping a sugar cookie with a decorative Thanksgiving design. It’s rare to see a cookie on her shelves that hasn’t been hand-decorated with homemade royal icing.
“You can get a cookie anywhere, but I know you can’t really get them like this anywhere else,” said Jessica Guess, a Sugar Studios employee. “We get to show off our talent.”
Some of the most popular cookies are devoured by Seahawks fans. Employees bake jersey-shaped cookies and adds jersey numbers filled in with sugar crystals.
The fierce-looking Seahawk logo is another favorite. During last year’s championship game, Grimes was in “non-stop Seahawks cookie mode” for her customers who seemed to have a beast mode appetite.
“Over 1,100 individual hawk designs went out of my shop, including two dozen shipped to the Super Bowl for No. 67 defensive guard Paul McQuistan,” she said. “(It was) very exciting.”
She started baking in 2009, making her way through local farmers markets with her artfully decorated cookies. Since opening her own shop, she’s expanded her offerings, and she will happily oblige if a customer asks for a cookie customization.
And, lately, she can’t seem to keep her cinnamon rolls on the shelf. She just started experimenting with offering the sticky rolls at a price of 99 cents.
“We’ve been selling out every day, and we will continue this special,” she said. “We constantly strive to keep the momentum of offering not only special-occasion cookie designs, but everyday treats. We are slowly starting to serve lunch and hope to attract an everyday lunch clientele.”
With the ever-growing customer base, Grimes has brought on some additional help to get out her hundreds of cookies she bakes every week, including Judy Rodgers, store manager.
Rodgers said she’s learning more about what hits a customer’s sweet spot and what it takes to get the goodies just right.
“I absolutely love this job,” she said. “I’ve learned to be a better baker. I’ve learned how to make them thick and wonderful.”
Grimes added that practicing their talents daily has been one of the best parts of running Sugar Studios.
“It feels so fulfilling to get to practice my craft every day. It’s labor intensive. It’s fun,” she said. “The community loves it. They really respond to the art I do on the cookies.”