Woodland woman opens cookie shop

By Lauren Lundeen

Her day starts at 5 in the morning. She gets up, gets ready and heads to her cookie shop by 6 a.m. Today is no different than any other, so far.

Jennifer Young enters her shop, puts on an apron and starts gathering ingredients. Eggs are broken into a bowl along with other “secret” ingredients. She opens a large tub of butter and struggles with getting it into the mixer. It isn’t completely thawed yet.

Once the ingredients are in the mixer, she pushes a button to make the magic happen. Something goes wrong. The mixer won’t start.

Her morning comes to a screeching halt.

Running around feverishly, she tries to find the source of the problem. She comes up

empty handed. A look of exhaustion and defeat. No magic will be happening today.

Cookies need to be made. Orders need to be filled. This one day will set her back. This one day will add that much more stress.

She continues on with paper work. Come 8 a.m. she has already left the store. This isn’t her full-time job.

Young owns the little cookie shop in Woodland called Cookie Temptations. She only works there part time. But to her, it feels like more.

“I’m overwhelmed because I work full time and I do this, too. So I’m working from 5 in the morning...6 in the morning to about 10 or 11 at night on any given day, and that’s straight through,” Young said.

Young also works in her shop every weekend.

Her only other employee comes in after her. She can’t make cookies today either. The stress is on her to figure out what’s wrong.

Cookie Temptations isn’t a big store. It opened in its currently location on Jan. 26, 2010. Meeting deadlines and making cookies are a necessity to survive. If they can’t make them, customers won’t come.

Over the weekend, the machine is fixed. The magic can happen again, but it has set them back.

They put in more hours and work longer days. Lori Olsen, Young’s only employee,

understands the cookie making and designing demand.

“I told my family, ‘This week I belong to Jennifer,'” Olsen said.

Olsen’s days consist of baking one day, designing cookies another and a mixture of both the next.

Anyone walking past Cookie Temptations can see Olsen doing these tasks. Today she’s baking.

Upon entering the shop, sugar cookie smell fills the air. Fresh cookies sit on a counter top. They were just dipped in chocolate and are now drying. Olsen is busy kneading dough. She rolls it out and starts cutting out flower-shaped cookies. She then places them inside a three-rack oven.

Today, Olsen has five orders. Tomorrow she has six. And that doesn’t include Mother’s Day coming up.

Since its store opening in January, business has taken off, but not without its


“The capacity is the biggest issue in this business because as we grow that could just

skyrocket,” Young said. “If we’re not ready, we can’t produce enough and then we’re going to have problems.”

Since her first cookie creations, her customer base has grown. Young noted that in the beginning, her cookies started because of one reason: illness.

The first cookies ever made were for a mother with stage four lung cancer.

“It was about a lady who was sick. I heard she had five children and lung cancer, and I had the need to help her some how,” Young said. “And so I decided that maybe my cookies could.”

The cookies Young made for the family were included in a fundraiser, and the money made was given to the family.

Not long after, Young found out about another family in need.

“I heard and found another family, another story about a little baby who had a brain

tumor,” Young said. “So I said, 'You know maybe I should do the cookies and maybe I could help them.'”

Helping them is what she did. Young was able to raise $1,500 from a fundraiser.

The fundraisers got Young’s name out into the public. People have come to her looking for help when others have had cancer or an illness.

She hasn’t turned one down.

With fundraisers and helping families, Young got the idea of opening her own business. Two years prior to opening the store, she had been making cookies from her home.

With a growing customer base, a new storefront and a website, Young is reaching out to more and more people.

Walking into her store, it may not be Young in there working, but it was her idea to help others that got this little corner shop started.

Photo Essay: Cookie Temptaions

Photos by Nicole Ryan View Larger Map

It's a "reel" good time at the Zinema 2

UMD student learns life lessons from study abroad program