Imagine the work that goes into a batch of cookies: mixing, rolling, baking, decorating and washing. Now imagine baking 1,000 cookies a month. That’s how many Debbie DeGeer typically creates at
Mt Lookout Sweets
, a bakery she runs from her Mt. Lookout home – complete with a commercial kitchen in the basement – each month.
That’s 12,000 cookies a year, but DeGeer isn’t counting. Baking helps keep her hands busy and her creative mind active while she cares for her aging mom, who helping instill in DeGeer a love of floury hands and blustery ovens. Because DeGeer’s mom lives with Alzheimer’s, the duo spend their share of quiet nights at home.
Baking started as “a kind of therapy,” and DeGeer often arrived at Comey Shephard, the real estate agency where she works, laden with cookies. Her creations with the company logo on them were particularly popular for the real estate company’s open houses, and from there, the requests grew.
DeGeer specializes in hand-decorated sugar cookies that are part art and part dessert, and she has a design for everyone. When Keidel, a Cincinnati-based plumbing, cabinetry, appliance and lighting contract, celebrated its 100th
anniversary, DeGeer created confections in the shape of bathtubs, light bulbs and even toilets.
“I never thought in my life I would make a cute toilet, but I did,” DeGeer says.
Active with other cookie pros, dubbed “cookiers,” on Facebook, DeGeer has about 1,200 Facebook fans for her business, and says it’s a top source of referrals, along with word-of-mouth.
Mt. Lookout Sweets averages three to four orders per week, with her capacity filling up quickly around the holidays and in late spring or early summer as couples plan their weddings. DeGeer typically requests a week’s notice for each order and more during busy seasons.
By Robin Donovan