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Cookies During COVID? Yes, Please!

October 22, 2020

Cookies are far more than just baked treats for Hillary Hall. Cookie-making is an art form.

Hall, a resident of Harrisburg, has started her own cookie baking and decorating business from scratch. (Pun intended.) While it really wasn’t her intention to start a business, Cookies by Hillary started with a click.

“I was just playing around one fall weekend in 2019 and posted a picture of some pumpkin and fall-themed cookies I made and then I had people asking to order,” said Hall. “Then it just blew up and snow balled from there!”

Orders started to roll in last Halloween, and while she attempted to keep it minimal – just orders from family and friends, her business took off. She officially became a business in January of this year and orders have continued to increase.

From birthdays to holidays and every theme you can imagine, Hall has learned how to decorate each cookie to suit every personal preference. Her product is backed by education, experience, and through her own childhood memories.

“After graduating high school, I went to culinary school. I have a degree in culinary arts and a certificate in baking and pastries,” said Hall. “I love food. Cooking food. Eating food. Everything about food. Growing up I would always sit and watch my granny bake pies and other sweets. The kitchen has and will always be my happy place.” 

Hall said that she has a tremendous amount of support from her family, especially her husband. She has started the business while working full time and raising her family.

She also attributes her success to her loyal customers who continue to order specialized cookies for every occasion. Steam Café in Harrisburg is also carrying her cookies for individual purchase.

“When Steam Café contacted me about selling cookies at their coffee shop, I was so shocked and honored. I think that moment made it seem real,” said Hall.

Hall began working with Arla Murphy, Business Development Specialist at the Workforce and Illinois Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Illinois College last winter. The WISBDC helped her with research and establishing her business.

“I wasn't really sure what I needed to do to make my business official,” said Hall. “The SBDC helped me navigate the paperwork and legal issues. They pointed me in the right direction every time and were very knowledgeable about every single thing I asked them. “

Hall said working with the WISBDC is a one stop shop.

“All of your questions can be answered in one place,” said Hall. “We can all agree that working with an actual person and communicating is so much easier than surfing the web looking for answers. I am so thankful for the wonderful start they helped me give my business, and for their continued support and guidance as I grow.”

When it comes to placing an order, Hall recommends ordering through her Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/cookiesbyhillary or by calling or texting 618-499-3710. To see all of her designs, please see her pages on Facebook and Instagram.

The WISBDC is a part of the Illinois Small Business Development Center Network which serves as a dynamic, integrated, small business assistance delivery system.  The Network's mission is to increase the competitiveness, profitability and growth of Illinois businesses in a global economy.  The WISBDC has been developed through a partnership involving the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the college as a service to Illinois small businesses in Gallatin, Hardin, Pope, Saline and White counties and portions of Hamilton, Johnson and Williamson counties.

To become a client, set up an appointment, or to learn more about the Workforce and Illinois Small Business Development Center, email arla.murphy@sic.edu or call 618-252-5400 ext. 2312.

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