Barbara Reininger is baking up a business, and she hopes this holiday season will be the starter.
The Bainbridge mom, operating My Kids' Cookies, is beginning to sell her cookies not only online, but here at home, too. She produces eight varieties of chocolate chip cookies, each as big as her dream to eventually fund her two children's college educations with the proceeds.
"I've been baking cookies forever," said the San Francisco-area transplant, whose first careers were in the finance and Internet industries. Husband Len came along, and then children Molly, 13, and Daniel, 12. Reininger continued to make cookies – for her family and friends, for church, school and her Girl Scout troop, and "just because."
"I could eat them all, but for health reasons and weight reasons, I don't," she said.
Friends urged her to turn her passion into a business. She and Len, a banker, massaged the numbers. Finally, she took the plunge, buying the Internet domain name mykidscookies.com to sell online, and tirelessly making calls to local coffee shops and others to see if they'd like to sell her cookies. Reininger will supply her assortment of cookies with milk chocolate, semisweet chocolate and white chocolate, with pecans, walnuts or just plain at Olympic Performance Group's upcoming "Nutcracker" in Poulsbo and on Bainbridge.
Starting a business from scratch has been a learning experience for the new entrepreneur.
"It is simple (to say) 'Yes, that's what you want to do,' but there's a lot more to it," she said.
There's giving up a steady paycheck, for one.
"You can't build a business without devoting full time," she said.
Photo from Stock.xchng.