Get to Know the Team Behind the Cookie: Susy "The Boss"
We started a series a while back where we introduced you to the heart and soul of PNW Cookie Co.: our team! Today, we want you to get to know the matriarch of our crew (and our founder’s very own mother!), Susy Carpenter.
As a company, we pride ourselves on our passion for baking and our commitment to creating delicious vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free treats our customers can’t stop raving about. But at the end of the day, it's the people behind the scenes who make it all possible. Susy is one of those people.
She's the mastermind behind some of our most popular cookie flavors, and she brings an infectious energy and enthusiasm to everything she does. We hope that by learning more about Susy and the rest of our team, you'll gain a greater appreciation for the hard work and dedication that goes into every batch of our cookies. So without further ado, let's get to know Susy!
Get to Know Our Team: Susy Carpenter
Susy, what’s your official title?
I don't really have an official title, although Callie always says I'm the Boss! I do all of the invoicing; accounts payable and receivable. I source all of our ingredients, submit all of the information needed to keep up with our certifications and licenses, and help with developing the recipes for new flavors. I pretty much just fill in wherever I’m needed.
In your own words, how did you get started with PNW Cookie Co.?
Callie was on medical leave from her job and wanted to work with me to try to figure out how to make a cookie that her brother, Nate, could eat (more on that here). That's all it was to begin with. He couldn't eat any dairy or gluten products, it was a sudden development in his life. So we worked and worked and worked, trying out all kinds of ingredients until we found some ingredients that would work to make a gluten-free vegan cookie that tasted just like the ones I had always made at home. We shared some with friends that had food restrictions and got really great feedback. Callie decided to start a bakery business and that was how it all happened! I personally don’t choose to eat soy products so we decided to make them soy free as well.
What has your own health story been like?
I've never had any issues with any foods of any kind. That's why it was quite daunting to think about developing these specialty cookies. I had no clue!
What’s been the biggest challenge turned lesson you’ve learned along the way of starting PNW Cookie Co.?
We’ve had a lot of challenges since we had no idea how to start a baking business! There were so many things we just didn't know. Finding suppliers for ingredients and packaging has been one of the biggest ones. I've had to flounder around quite a bit until I could find what we needed. Sometimes we just had to "survive" my mistakes! So many businesses refused to share information, but one, Cynthia from 4Paws, really gave us a helping hand. She showed us her inventory system, shared supplier contact information, and let us try out her equipment. We really try to pay that kindness forward when we can.
What hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
I love to quilt in my free time. I belong to four or five quilting groups and manage to meet with friends to quilt three or four times a week! Another thing I love to do is bake pies. I'm the official "pie bringer" at our family gatherings and no matter what the size of our group, I usually end up bringing five or six pies. I just can't stop making them once I start! I've always loved to bake. I baked for a caterer for many years (especially rolls). Since we started the bakery, I don't bake at home as often as I’d like but I'm very active in our county fair and am the superintendent of the baking section in our local Home Arts Department.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
I usually get to the bakery around 7 AM and get to work with Callie fulfilling all of the orders that have come in. This can take anywhere between 30 minutes to a few hours to complete, depending on who placed an order. Next, I update the invoices and the payments that have come in and then Callie and I talk over our plans for the next few days. After that, I head out to the bank to make deposits.
On a baking day, I help wherever I can. I sort of "float" around wherever I’m needed. I might be getting cookies prepared for packaging, placing them in their bags and Cookie Boxes, answering phone calls, and essentially just helping with whatever needs doing. I'm usually home by 1-2 PM each day. In the evenings, I prepare invoicing and postage for the next day's shipments and usually update Quickbooks with whatever needs to be dealt with. I pretty much work when it's convenient. ☺️
What's your favorite "task" to tackle at work?
My favorite task at work is Quality Control! Tasting the cookies is the BEST part! 🙌
What’s your favorite cookie flavor at PNW Cookie Co.?
I love all of our cookies, since Callie and I have an agreement that we won't make any flavors that aren't absolutely delicious! It's fun to have the seasonal ones (like Lemon Meringue Pie) since we only offer them about three months out of the year, so we really look forward to those. I think the Lemon Meringue Pie cookie is my favorite of all. In June, we’ll launch the Birthday Cake Cookie, which will probably be my favorite then! It really is delicious.
Back to You
We hope you enjoyed getting to know more about Susy! Stay tuned for more interviews, sneak peeks, and honorable mentions from the rest of the team here at PNW Cookie Co. And be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date with the latest and greatest!
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