We had the good fortune of connecting with Catherine Buckner and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Catherine, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I was out of my house for 3 years before I moved into a brick and mortar. During the pandemic, in the lockdown, I had a very hard decision to make. I either needed to find a new job that was more secure and possibly remote or say, to hell with it, and go for it. I decided to GO FOR IT. I hired a personal assistant, we wrote a business plan, worked out a budget, figured out all the end and outs and in a matter of 6 months, we got a loan, we found a place and we started construction for a full build out. 4 months late, we opened our doors. It was a wild roller coaster. It still is a wild ride.

My mentality with starting a business was easy. I didn’t want to work for anyone else anymore. When I saw that my business had out grown my house, expanding was the only option. Some days are super hard. Working 6 days a week at 12-15 hour days is no easy task. But that being said, I know you just have to hustle in the beginning and it will get easier soon.

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.
So we make luxury custom cookies. Yes, I am aware of how boujee that sounds, but it is the best way to describe what we do. Saying I make cookies doesn’t do us enough justice. We specialize in custom cookies for everything from birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, graduations, bachelorette parties, to major holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentines.

Every job I have since I was 18 has been in bakeries. I started in college at a donut shop, moved up to a cake shop, then traveled to Ireland and worked at one of the oldest running bakeries in Galway, to Houston to manage a cupcake shop, to St. Louis to be a pastry chef, then becoming a general manager of a high end bakery where I realized I had made it to the top of my field and I was ready to challenge myself even more. I then came back to Texas and worked for the Cake Boss himself and ran one of his bakeries, and that job alone was the job that made me realize I had the knowledge, skill level and motivation to open my own business. Was this choice easy, HELL NO. I was scared to death to even attempt my own business. But I did things in the right order. I had a full time job and started making cookies as a side hustle. I then got too busy and took my full time job down to a part time and took on my cookie business a little more serious. I then continued to have such great support from my community that I took the plunge and quit my part time job and went in full time for myself. Super scary but I knew I had enough business to support myself. From there things just continued to grow. Start at my sisters dining room table, to getting an apartment and working in my itty bitty kitchen, to then moving into a tiny 4 plex by myself and making my second bedroom in the cookie room, to then moving into a house and covering every single surface in my home with cookies. My last Christmas in my home, I had 65 people come pick up cookies. I knew then it was time to look into a brick and mortar. During the pandemic I made the choice to go for it and here we are a year later, and we SURVIVED! How? Day by day. Lesson learned, just take it one day at a time.

My brand is all about “baking the world a better place”. I strive each and everyday to bring smiles to peoples face with our extremely detailed cookies that we customize to fit each persons specifics requests.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Best place to start it Carney’s. It is a local bar that had been around for years where to locals go. They have an amazing outside patio, great food and affordable drinks. Great atmosphere, no college kids, and perfectly quaint. Then make our way to Downtown Bryan, where we would eat burgers at The Proudest Monkey and definitely get their dirty fries with the monkey sauce. Then head out to a local farmers market. Supporting local is very important to me and visiting the Downtown market on Saturdays is a must. All the vendors have super unique products that I look forward to buying each week. Ending the day at a super nice dinner at Prim Rose. Amazing tapas restaurant that never disappoints.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I could not have done this all without my family, close friends, and a woman’s organization here in town call WE Encourage Women Entrepreneurs. So to start, my family has gone above and beyond to support and help in any way they can. Both my parents helped with buying big tickets items such as the oven, double freezer and fridge. They openly were here to give me anything I needed on a loan system (which I respect tremendously as I would not want just a free handout) I talk to my father daily, who owned his own practice, and ask for advice, motivation and continuous help both physically and mentally through the roller coaster of running a business. Second my friends, who are the best. Each one of them has continued to support me, my decision and my business through out this whole journey. They pump me up and try to keep me positive when all I wanted to do was give up. I cannot thank them enough for ordering cookies for their own parties to not only support me but support my ever growing business. Having a support system has been imperative in this journey. Third, the WE group. So this group is composed of woman who all own their own businesses. Each of them having a special skill set that has helped me with building the company. One of the woman made my logo, one of the woman did my head shots, one of the woman helped with packaging, one of the woman helped me write my business plan, and ALL the woman were there for me when I had the million questions that go into opening up a brick and mortar. I am so thankful to have a village behind me that I could reach out to at any point in my day and they would be here in a second. Could not have done this with out all of the above parties continuous help.

Website: www.bushascustomcookies.com

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Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.