Businesswomen: Just like grandma used to make
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at 8:00 am
Oma’s Cookies has a big flavor, a bigger mission
By Amanda Lillie
What started as a hobby with her mother when she was just two years old became Brittany Deyo’s gift to the Austin community through Oma’s Cookies.
“We make traditional drop cookies like grandma did,” Deyo said. “It was kind of a hobby that turned into a business. “My mom has been baking with me since I was two years old, so she’s an oma.”
Deyo makes Oman’s cookies out of her home thanks to her cottage baker’s license, which allows her to sell them at markets, community events and directly outside her home.
“It’s been an incredible opportunity to test the waters of my full-fledged home bakery for the next step in a commercial kitchen,” he said.
And so far the experiment has been quite successful.
Since starting her business in June 2022, Deyo has sold her cookies at Freedom Fest, area farmer’s markets, the Wilderness County Fair and out of her home.
After selling cookies at Taste of Nations, she had the idea to expand her flavors to include ingredients inspired by different cultures.
“I would say that Taste of Nations inspired me with that,” he said. “I really researched and asked about the different communities that exist in Austin so that we could really represent that.”
Some of her more popular flavors include hot pepper and cinnamon Mexican chocolate chip cookies and coconut cashew and black sesame seed caramelized banana cookies.
Deyo belongs to online baking groups where she has been able to connect with bakers around the world, including a woman in Thailand who sold her recipes.
At first, his customers were skeptical of some of the new flavors, but over time, Deyo saw a shift in demand for the flavors.
“Since we’ve really established ourselves and shown people that we’re not just making good cookies, we’re making great cookies, chocolate chip is no longer my best seller and I have more flavors,” Deyo said.
One of Deyo’s favorite things about Oma’s Cookies is that it gives her the freedom to explore new recipes and new flavor combinations. She even baked Cheeto cookies that weren’t a total taste disaster.
“I was really hesitant,” she laughed, “but it ended up tasting amazing.”
Deyo admits that sometimes trying new things ends in disaster, but he enjoys looking back and seeing how much his baking has improved over time.
Right now, Deyo has what she calls a “mini display case” on her porch, along with a chair and a few books. When a customer arrives, they call or text Deyo using the phone number written on the balcony and can relax with a book while waiting for their order to be ready.
Customers can choose from the day’s available flavors (usually about 13) or order up to 48 hours in advance at www.omashomebakedcookies.com.
As Oma’s Cookies becomes more popular locally, Deyo’s ultimate goal is to open a small brick-and-mortar store outside of Austin known for its delicious cookies and unique flavors.
“Like Betty’s Pies up north,” Deyo said. “We will not be nationwide. It will be about creating a safe place for families and employees.”
Cookies Oman’s ultimate mission, Deyo said, is to provide a safe workplace for the LGBTQ+ community.
“I really want to take my time and get it right and make sure the LGBTQ+ community has a safe place to work, equal pay and equal benefits like everyone else,” Deyo said. “The LGBTQ+ community doesn’t have to say they need safety; As an ally, our job is to create this space for them.”
When Deyo envisioned his ideal storefront, it included a small consignment area inside the store where his future employees could sell their wares.
“Then the people we hire can expand their craft and someday start their own business while working with us,” he said. “I think there’s still a lot of work to be done, and I’m excited to be able to use the privilege I have in the community … to be a voice for those who don’t have to speak for themselves.”