Custom Iced Sugar Cookies by Andrea Barrera are gorgeous and delicious.
There is nothing better than getting to a party and seeing the perfect desert table. Andrea has taken the desert game and turned it up a notch. With her creative intuition and entrepreneurial spirit she has brought Clark Street Cookies to life. Named after the street she grew up on, Andrea has taken her creative passion and figured out how to monetize it. We love nothing more than a Latina owned business and are excited to share her work. She is currently serving the southern California area and just launched her website and new logo.
To her a sugar cookie is a blank canvas and she works with her clients to bring their amazing ideas to life. From golden doodle shaped puppy cookies to interactive Valentine's Day treats - you name it and Andrea can make it edible.
We had the amazing opportunity to not only sit and chat with Andrea but also taste our very own BOP inspired cookie. Check out the Q&A session below.
Before we get started with some questions would you please do us the honor and tell us a little bit about yourself?
Absolutely! I’m Andrea, the one-woman show that is Clark Street Cookies - a home bakery located in Southern California, offering custom iced sugar cookies. For the last two years it has also served as a creative outlet, “side hustle,” and more importantly, therapy (lol). Clark Street has been the biggest surprise and blessing and I’m really grateful for all the special events I’ve been a part of through my cookies. When I’m not covered in flour, you can find me booking sales and marketing in the sports and entertainment industry.
So what initially got you into iced sugar cookie art?
This all started as an accident really. One Easter I got really curious to make a special treat for all the kids in my family so I found some cheap grocery store icing and gave a hand at making iced sugar cookies. I’ve been obsessed ever since.
Where do you start when it comes to concepting and bringing an order to life?
Most of my clients come to me with a pretty clear vision in mind. When they bring me photos of an event invitation, other cookier’s work they found online, or specific images to recreate, it’s fairly simple. Once I hunt down the perfect cookie cutter, prepare the right combination of food colorings, nail the fluidity of icing consistency, my hands take over. My favorite cookie concepting though is when a client really allows me to create a design from scratch!
What is one ingredient or cooking tool you have that you would not be able to live without?
Easy - my KitchenAid stand mixer! Cookies, biscuits, pies, even homemade bread have all come out of that glorious thing!
What has it been like to own and operate your own business? Any suggestions for people out there looking to start their own side hustle?
It’s been such a blessing and challenge. My best suggestions would be:
If you have internet, you have knowledge. I’m a self-taught cookier who learned everything she knows about cookies through Youtube, Pinterest, and Google with a zero dollar budget.
Ask for help. This one is hard, I know, but trust me when I say it’s worth the uncomfortable few minutes it takes to muster up the courage and ask slash most people actually want to share their wisdom.
Treat your side hustle like it’s your “real” job. After you spend 8 hours making someone else rich, spend just as much time investing in yourself.
Don’t wait for your business to be “perfect” in order to launch it. Just do it!
What has been one of your favorite designs so far? Maybe one that was the most challenging or the funnest to create…
It’s funny you say that because my all-time favorite design was also the most challenging. A client commissioned me to create a puppy portrait of her sweet golden doodle puppy. I wanted the cookies to look like they had a fluffy texture so I pressure iced each individual “dog hair” at a time… let’s just say I could not move my hands for about a week after that. Seeing my client’s emotional reaction was absolutely worth every hand cramp though!
Are there any other business owners or favorite bakers out there who really inspire you to keep baking and sharing your work?
Oh man where do I begin. Since the beginning, I’ve looked up to Lisa He aka @borderlandsbakery who, aside from creating incredible cookies, has served as a significant baking resource in the cookie community. In fact, I’ve even reached out to her on several occasions asking for advice and without fail she’s responded. My favorite cookier of all time is Megan Warne aka @downtowndoughto who creates the most exquisite detailed work. She’s established such a beautifully delicate style and that’s something I have yet to develop.
What has it been like to run your business during a pandemic?
Like everything going on right now, it’s a bit scary. I was especially nervous in the beginning when I couldn’t get a hold of basic necessities for my home, nonetheless bulk ingredients for baking, so much so that I halted all orders for three months. Since testing has become available, masks, gloves, and ingredients are more readily stocked, I feel much more comfortable. The trust my clients have given me during this time has meant the world.
Where do you see Clark Street Cookies in a year? Are there any things in particular that you are working towards?
I see Clark Street Cookies popping up at local farmer’s markets throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. I’m also actively growing my menu items and techniques.
If you had to concept a dream design what would it be and why? Also, will you make it for us one day so we can see it / eat it?
Like the readers of BOP, music is as essential as oxygen for me. I’ve been conceptualizing cookie album covers for some of my favorite records. Music has gotten me through so much, especially late night cookie-ing. This would be an ode or thank you really to those artists who kept me going. I’d love to make them for you one day!
Thanks so much for taking the time to run through some questions with us! Your journey is amazing and we are all really looking forward to watching you grow! Before we wrap are there any last words you have for the readers of BOP?
Don’t forget to support small businesses, wear a mask, & register to vote! Thank you so much for having me! Happy Baking :)
Be sure to follow Andrea @clarkst.cookies and reach out to make all your cookie dreams come true.
How to make the perfect BOP x Clark Street cookie
Below is a foolproof recipe that served as my base for so long.