Today we’d like to introduce you to Jen Schoenholz.
Jen, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love to bake. As a kid, I would bake chocolate cakes from scratch using the recipe on the back of the Hershey cocoa container. When I started working, I would bring desserts to work events. I made everything from Rally Squirrels made from twinkies to piecakens. This was when people first started telling me I needed to open a bakery. ⠀ ⠀
When my son was born in 2007, I made his birthday cake every year and loved it. I would take the day before his birthday off work and spend all day working on it. Themes included Zelda, Angry Birds, and Minecraft. That ended a few years ago when he started requesting cookie cakes for his birthday instead of a spectacular mom-made masterpiece. ⠀
What got me started on cookies was a cookie exchange at CrossFit St. Charles. Bringing cookies shaped like Christmas trees and Santa wasn’t my style. I made cookies decorated like weights. Everyone loved them. There was another cookie exchange the following year. This time I made weightlifters, biceps, and barbells. Not only did everyone think they looked incredible, they thought they tasted great too. It was right around then I decided I was going to go for it. ⠀
I made cookies out of my home for a few months. It wasn’t long before I was doing some google searching and stumbled upon The Bakers Hub. I didn’t even know a place like this existed anywhere except my imagination. They already had someone making decorated cookies but they needed someone to make pies. I had been making pies for my family’s Thanksgiving for years. So, I started making pies at the Bakers Hub in Chesterfield in June. It wasn’t long before I got a message with the best news ever. I could sell cookies there too!
That’s where I am now. I make cookies and pies at the Bakers Hub. And I have big plans for the future. ⠀
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I’d say it’s been pretty smooth but there have for sure been struggles and SO MUCH learning. Getting out of my comfort zone has been really scary. For starters, I tend to be a quiet, keep to myself kind of person. So, the social media, marketing, and talking to people I don’t know part of running a business was a challenge when I started. Little did I know, I would end up loving meeting new people and hear about why I’m baking for them. I have customers that have been with me from the start that has become near and dear to me.
Another big struggle has been “doing it messy”. That’s what one of my favorite podcasters says a lot. Not waiting until everything is perfect to put it out there. If I had waited until everything was perfect, I would’ve never started this.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Crushed Sugar is a bakery that specializes in custom-decorated sugar cookies. I also make a wide variety of pies and custom cupcakes.
My most popular pies are key lime with a macadamia nut crust, coconut cream, salted caramel apple pie, and pecan pie bars. I really enjoy trying new recipes that are outside the norm. I made a bacon jam pie with a cheddar crust that was out of this world amazing. I also love creating new items. I recently started making PieCaken Cups. They are a layer of crumbled cake, pie, more crumbled cake and topped with whipped cream. I’ve made those in strawberry pie with white cake, cherry pie with chocolate cake, and blueberry pie with lemon cake.
I also make paint your own cookies that come with an edible paint palette and paintbrush. They are fun for kids and adults.
I’m known for my creativity, attention to detail, and passion.
I’m most proud of the cookie club that I started! Each month members get 6, 12, or 24 cookies with surprise designs that I’ve never made before. I love cookie club for a lot of reasons but one of them is I get to make cookies that I choose. I like to pick cookies require techniques that I haven’t used before so I can learn new skills. I’m having so much fun with it!
In addition to custom orders, I make 4-inch pies and decorated cookies that are available at the Bakers Hub in Chesterfield…
What makes you happy?
The look on a customer’s face when they see what I’ve made for them makes me happy.
Knowing how happy someone will be to share what I’ve made for them with their family and friends makes me happy.
Having a goal to work towards that challenges me in some way makes me happy.
- 1 dozen custom cookies – starts @ $40
- Cookie club – starts @ $22
- 1 dozen custom cupcakes – starts @ $30
- Paint Your Own Cookies – $5
- 4″ pies – $5.50
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.crushedsugar.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/crushedsugar1
- Facebook: facebook.com/crushedsugarcustomcookies