We had the good fortune of connecting with Christine Yocum and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christine, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
The heartbeat behind the business has always been about much more than just a product. We’ve seen how a cookie-gifting experience reaches far beyond tastebuds and tummies. When the COVID pandemic hit last spring, businesses were closing left and right. There were a lot of unknowns about the future, lock downs were in place, and front-line workers began putting their health on the line for the sake of the community. We reached out on social media for the community to nominate local, front-line heroes they wanted to recognize. We were overwhelmed by some of the nominations: a dermatology institute still taking in skin cancer patients; someone’s mother who takes care of special-needs patients and recently had brain surgery; the night staff at the children’s hospital as well as the postal service employees, to name a few. We started baking chocolate chip cookies for free and delivering them to these local heroes who were making the world go ‘round. We ended up making nearly 30 local deliveries and about 1,000 cookies! There were countless people totally surprised and taken aback when we showed up with individually wrapped, heat-sealed cookies. Their reactions are ones I’ll never forget. From there, Operation Encourage came to fruition in hopes of making a difference in the small, tangible way we can. People began sending CookieGrams to encourage loved ones from afar in a time when we couldn’t physically come together. Our CookieGrams are like a greeting card – it’s an edible-image designed butter cookie with different messages of encouragement and gratitude. Little did we know, Operation Encourage would be just the start –a launching pad– to moving forward together. Although we’re not completely out of the woods yet when it comes to the pandemic, this season has reminded us that there is always a reason to encourage one another. It doesn’t stop here. CookieGrams have become a way to bring us all closer together and add some sweetness to our lives now and far beyond the global crisis.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
While not formally trained in event planning, my obsessive eye for detail, love affair with checklists and spreadsheets as well as the ability to think “outside the box”, paved a way into corporate event planning. I learned the importance of timelines and due dates, seamless execution, pleasing the client, and bringing their vision to life, all while having the pleasure of watching the client receive the kudos and accolades of a great event. Just as event planning is a “behind the scenes” profession; Cookie Charm takes the same approach when it comes to our corporate clients’ brands. We gladly let our brand take a back seat to theirs and do all we can to make their gifting vision a reality. Additionally, we love thinking beyond what is already being done in the cookie world. I love Henry Ford’s famous quote—“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” In other words, Mr. Ford imagined for others that which they could not imagine for themselves. Similarly, at Cookie Charm, we help our customers imagine a cookie beyond what they can imagine for themselves. This is reflected in our hand-painted cookies, CookieGrams, Color Book Collection and so much more—we offer cookies not many can imagine. It’s music to our ears when we receive feedback on how our cookies impacted someone’s life or occasion. From the moment the order is placed to the last sweet crumb is consumed, we provide an experience to remember, share and talk about. We’re here to break the stereotypes and help people think outside of the cookie box. Through this entrepreneurial journey, I’ve become resolute in my desire to succeed and not succumb to quitting. Early on when things got tough, my first inkling was to turn off the oven, hang up my oven mitts, and walk away. As I’ve been able to articulate my “why” as in “why do I do this?” it is what fuels me to keep going even in a season of discouragement. What is my why? To serve God by serving others through our cookies. Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First, I’d make sure the sun shines! If we had a lot of catching up to do, we’d start the morning at the Urban Egg and chat, then window shop and keep chatting then, Panera Bread lunch and keep chatting, take a long drive and keep chatting, then grab Chili’s for dinner and chat with Netflix in the background. Rinse and repeat. Then shop downtown Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City, Castle Rock 16th Street Mall. Lots of chit chat and lots of shopping. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This shoutout is dedicated to David, my Dahling, my husband, who believes and hopes for me in moments when I no longer can. Who has never wavered in his belief in me and this cookie adventure. Who has settled for cheese sandwiches and hotdogs for many a dinner, no vacations and never-ending working weekends. Who is fine with incorporating trips to Sam’s or building something for the shop into our “date nights”. Who is always ready to listen to my latest bright idea, edit content and jump into packaging when our backs are against the wall. Who is there to celebrate the wins and weather the losses. Without him, this Smart Cookie would have crumbled years ago.
Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mycookiecharm/