A Q&A with Carrie Buchanan of Bombshell Cupcakes & Cookies
For lovers of decadent sweets, Carrie Buchanan’s Bombshell Cupcakes & Cookies are an answered prayer.
One of her many over-the-top, muffin-sized cupcakes, titled Junk in Her Trunk, is moist chococolate cake, loaded with Oreos, toffee candy and chocolate chip cookie dough, with vanilla frosting and a Reese’s cup garnish.
Now going into her fourth year of business as a home-based baker, North Canton resident Buchanan still makes custom cupcakes, but she has shifted her focus over the past year to elaborately decorated sugar cookies.
Incidentally, Buchanan has a day job that has nothing to do with ovens and icing. She is the service and support administrator for the Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
Q. Is it tough having a baking business in addition to your day job?
A. “It can be. There are many days I work (at the office) from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., then I go home and work till 11, then I get up the next day to do it again. Decorating is very time-consuming; it can take multiple days to decorate one cookie. For the last 21 years, I’ve had (two daughters) in the house and obligations with them, but now they’re grown, and I have lots of time. I love working from home, and I have no intention of leaving the board. I have been able to hire a baking assistant.”
Q. Tell me what inspired the shift to cookies?
A. “There’s just so much custom work you can do with cookies, and there’s been this explosion of interest in custom-themed birthday parties where they want everything to match. I’ve made plaid cookies for a lumberjack party,.I’ve made Pokemon cookies. Businesses want their logos on cookies. I can do just about any design as long as someone sends me a reference image. Plus, cookies can be shipped, so I can market to the entire United States. And the profit margin is much larger with cookies than my cupcakes. I still do cupcake orders, there just isn’t as big of a demand.”
Q. Do you sell cookies retail or just do custom orders?
A. “Everything I do is custom made to order, but this year, I’m going to start selling cookies at comic cons and fandom conventions. I love everything about that subculture. I’m a diehard fan of ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Game of Thrones,’ and I’m making ‘Walking Dead’ and ‘Games of Thrones’ cookies, plus Harry Potter and comic book-inspired cookies. I can make them ahead of time. They’re pre-packaged, and I sell them for $4. I’ve already booked Classic Plastics toy convention in West Virginia and the Steel City Con, which is a real big comic con. I’m still waiting to hear about the Walkter Stalker Con.”
Q. What can you tell me about your Bombshell cookies?
A. “They’re soft, thick, substantial sugar cookies. I’ve never had one break in shipping. I use royal icing, in different consistencies to create beautiful art. I’ve done hand-painted, hand-lettered cookies. It’s really a very satisfying art form. A dozen is a minimum order. They run $3 or $4 or even more if there’s a high degree of artistic difficulty.”