We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Oliver and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I think that I’d attribute my desire to love others, and wanting to make people feel special, as the reason for my success. From the beginning, I started baking and gifting sweets to family and friends because I could feel their happiness as they received goods that were baked and packaged specifically for them.I wanted everyone that I came in contact with to feel that sense of love. If I can make people feel appreciated, thought of, and recognized, then I’ll never stop baking!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I love baking, but my favorite part of the entire process is making sure that my cookies look beautiful! Of course taste is priority, but I’m never willing to compromise on the esthetic of the cookie. There’s something that is just so gratifying about having a cookie that looks as good as it tastes. With that being said, I’ve done a lot of R+D to get the perfect consistency for packaging (no one wants a smooshed cookie!). I’ve also learned that making caramel in the Arizona heat is a challenge, and that sometimes after baking 10 failed batches, the only solution is to step away from the kitchen! I can confidently say that my experience in the social work field has given me perspective. It has allowed me to see the “why” behind actions, responses, and has given me tools to navigate relationships personally and professionally. I’ve always tried to approach every relationship with compassion and understanding, and with the mentality that together we will find a solution. That has allowed me to grow, to learn, and to be a better business owner.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I have to say, when moving out here, I didn’t realize how much Arizona had to offer! We have lived here for three years, and we still have a VERY long list of spots we want to check out! One of our favorite places to bring visitors is to The Mission in Old Town, Scottsdale. The Primarita is my absolute favorite margarita, and always followed up with the roasted pork shoulder tacos. Another favorite is Chelsea’s Kitchen. The patio is such a fun vibe, and always a fun place to bring those from out of town. The Henry is a great place with an outdoor fireplace, making it the coziest spot on a crisp night. Brunch at Liberty Market in Gilbert is a must-do, along with coffee from Press, Peixoto, and Cartel. Can you tell, we love coffee! OHSO and The Sleepy Whale are favorite spots for some good beer, and really awesome staff. Last but not least, San Tan Mountain Regional Park has amazing hikes and great mountain bike trails! There’s nothing like a sunrise hike in the desert!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wouldn’t be where I am without the encouragement of my husband, friends and family. They believed in my business long before it was even something I was willing to seriously consider. My husband and I moved from Ohio in July of 2017, and not long after arriving in Arizona, I received a book, “Business Boutique” by Christy Wright. I had served as the Director of Family Services for Habitat for Humanity in Ohio, and a board member, Judy Maxson, gifted the book to me. She encouraged me to really pursue my passion of baking and had a heartfelt message written on the front page. I truly don’t know that I would’ve had the guts to even consider starting my business had it not been for everyone else having such faith in me. I am beyond grateful that I’ve had so many cheerleaders alongside me in this journey!
“Flour fight” photo- Dom Penn Photography