*Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on Oxford Stories
By Ginger Stephens
What started as a mother-daughter bonding activity led to an entrepreneurial endeavor for one University of Mississippi student. Nashville native Sarah-Catherine Martin, an exercise science major, recently started a small business called Scat’s Cookies featuring decorative and custom-made sugar cookies.
“My mom and I made cookies for Christmas one year, and she realized how much our family liked them,” Martin said. “Then she started making them as a hobby when I went off to college because she wanted to find a way to spend her time. Then she started making the cookies for all holidays and events.”
These fancy cookies are decorated in an array of colors. At first, Martin just decorated cookies to spend time with her mother. It was a fun activity when Martin came home from college.
Neither thought about selling cookies or starting a small business, but the cookies became so popular that Martin and her mother received several requests and decided to move forward.
“I started selling the cookies because people would message me and ask to buy them,” she said. “I never thought they would become so popular. My friends really helped encourage me to start an Instagram page for people to order the cookies.
“I officially made the Instagram when I went home for Christmas break, and I decided to continue the account when I came back to school because I was getting orders from people in Oxford.”
Since Martin created the account in December, the cookies have gained even more attention. She has around 230 followers.
“In the future, I really just want to continue pushing myself to make new cookies and expand the business within Instagram,” she said.
After going home over winter break, Martin began learning and perfecting her cookie designs. After receiving orders from people in Oxford and creating an Instagram account, the pressure was on. She decided to bring the small cookie business with her to college, which meant she would have to create cookies without help from her mother.
“The cookies are $2.50 a piece, and I can design any holiday, birthday or any event someone can think of,” she said.
The price may seem expensive to some until they learn how much time goes into creating the edible art. Martin usually spends hours decorating and perfecting her custom cookies. She makes the cookies in her Oxford apartment and gives her roommates leftovers.
“Thankfully my roommates allow me to turn our kitchen into my own bakery,” Martin laughed.
Even though Martin is now back at college, and five hours from home, she and her mother still bond over cookies. When Martin gets a request for a larger order, her mother helps.
“My mom even helps me when I have big orders come through,” Martin, who is an only child, said. “My mom and I have really bonded a lot through it, and it has been a great way to spend time with her every time I go home.”
Martin said she enjoys cookie experimentation.
“My favorite part about designing the cookies is trying new ideas and just playing around with them,” she said. “I want to continue pushing myself to get better and make new and different cookies.”
Cookie customer Annaleigh Buckley loves the taste of te cookies.
“They taste as good as they look,” she said. “Usually cookies that are that cute do not taste as good, but when I took a bite of one it was the best cookie I have ever had.”
Martin’s friend Lindsey Brakefield is proud of her cookie success.
“She is a very bright and fun person,” she said. “It is great seeing her thrive in something she loves doing so much, especially because she works so hard doing it.”
To put in an order for Martin’s cookies, direct message her on Instagram.