Terre Haute Living December 2016 - Page 40

The intricately decorated custom cookies were so popular the duo decided to take their hobby from a small operation in their home kitchens to a full-time business. “We were standing in my kitchen and Heather said, ‘We should do this, we should start our own little business …’ and so that’s how it was birthed,” Schimmel explains. “Quickly we became a cookie business; everyone wanted cookies. We came up with our own sugar cookie recipe and started doing the royal icing on it. How it started and how it’s ended up is not what we originally planned, but this is so much better.” The cookies are almost too adorable to eat. Almost. Scrolling through the company’s website or Facebook page, it’s clear that Schimmel and Mucci have a talent for baking - and for art. Themed cookies range from local high school logos to Disney characters and everything in between. Bites & Blessings custom makes cookies for golf outings, sports teams, breast cancer remission celebrations, baby showers, bachelorette parties and more. If there’s a theme and party, they can do it. But without professional machinery or a full staff, the ladies bake and decorate each cookie by hand. They admit, even cute can get annoying. “We would be lying if there weren’t moments in our orders that we haven’t felt that way,” Schimmel says with a laugh. Adds Mucci, “It’s just very time consuming. We do everything freehand; we don’t have any equipment. So you’ll get these insane orders and we don’t use a projector or printer, it’s just us and it takes a long time. But we wouldn’t have it any other way.” The time and effort that goes into each cookie is obvious from the beautiful icing to the cake-like cookies. Mucci says to keep cookies fresh and quality top-notch they don’t freeze orders, but instead make the cookies the day before or day of pick up. The ladies agree that kind of attention to detail makes fulfilling large and multiple orders difficult, but necessary. “Sometimes we don’t even have time for each other or for ourselves or families, so there have been times when we have agreed, we need a dinner, we need a break, we need two or three days to relax,” Schimmel says. “But in the end we love it and our customers love it.” Many of those customers have been with Bites & Blessings since the beginning. In five years the ladies have created cookies for engagement parties, weddings and baby showers; the company continues to grow alongside its customers. “It’s almost like we are photographers,” Mucci explains. “Our customers call us for the special moments in their lives.” 40 Terre Haute Living • December 2016 tribstar.com/terrehauteliving