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

Hi Mina, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My career plans never included starting my own business; I’m an attorney “by trade”. However, I‘ve always enjoyed entertaining, party planning and cooking/baking. At one of my gatherings, I made some chocolate chip cookie cups. I found the recipe online and thought it was such a cute idea and would be easy to serve to a large group.  My guests loved them! I took the left overs to work and my co-workers love them. Shortly after, I began testing out different combinations of cookie cups. I baked on the weekends and would bring them to work on Mondays for my co-workers to try. I still had no intention of starting a business. Baking helps me relax and I enjoy being creative so for me it was fun spending the weekends baking cookie cups.  One day, my paralegal proposed the idea that I should sell the cookie cups. I was a bit hesitant but she encouraged me.  I began working on setting up a business and all the details that go along with that. And my paralegal was my first official customer!

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?

I provide a unique dessert. It’s not just a cookie or a cake. It’s not a cupcake or a tart. It’s a cookie cup. Every cookie cup has a cookie base (such as a sugar cookie), which is then shaped like a cup and filled. Many of the cookie cups contain cake, others contain fillings such as chocolate, peanut butter or caramel. I create different combinations and offer seasonal flavors. One popular fall flavor is  caramel apple pie – a sugar cookie filled with apple pie and drizzled with caramel. During December, I offer peppermint cookie cups – peppermint cookies filled with either chocolate or vanilla. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I offer three flavors during the month of March – mint chocolate cookie, rainbow (a Fruity Pebbles cereal inspired) and lucky (a Lucky Charms cereal inspired).  I also have my regular menu of flavors.  I enjoy developing new recipes and cookie cups. I also work with customers to customize their orders. I am able to provide toppers for the cookie cups, which are perfect when displaying the cookie cups. I believe I provide a distinctive product that is great for parties and special occasions AND is delicious.
I took a break from cookie cups for a while but came back with a renewed focus on my business in 2019 and signed up for my first market in 2020. I’ve learned a lot from participating in the markets and getting direct feedback from customers. I’ve revamped my packaging and labeling and learned what customers like and dislike. I’m still baking part time and look forward to devoting myself full time to cookie cups as I take my business to the next level.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I always tell friends that Houston has an awesome food scene! Any type of food can be found here! I absolutely love tex-mex food so our first stop would be El Tiempo Cantina. Laredo Taqueria on Washington is another favorite. Steak is a must at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. Of course, a friend from out of state has to try Texas BBQ for which I recommend Killen’s or Gatlin’s. For drinks or hanging out, I would head to River Oaks District or any of the numerous breweries in town. I always encourage my friends to visit during March so that they can take advance of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo! One of the biggest rodeos in the country deserves a visit and usually the weather is nice during that time. The brunch scene is great here with so many options that I can’t even narrow it down to my favorites. So much food/drink, so little time!

Not food related, love taking friends and family to the museum district as we have so many wonderful museums here and Hermann Park is beautiful. For shopping, The Galleria is great. Lastly, you can’t come to the Space City, not stop by Space Center Houston. I don’t think people realize that Houston has a lot of offer!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to two people. First, the person who first gave me the idea to sell my cookie cups and encouraged me to do so – my former paralegal – Lakeesha Walker. Baking and creating cookie cups began as a fun, relaxing hobby for me, a way to utilize my artsy and creative side which I couldn’t do in my day job. Without her planting that seed in my head, I probably would not have considered turning cookie cups into a business. So a big thank you to Lakeesha for the idea and being my first customer!

Secondly and most importantly, I dedicate this shoutout to my husband, Sonny. He’s encouraged me to do more in my cookie cup journey. He helped me create a logo and website. He’s there at every market I participate in – helping with loading/unloading and setting up/taking down, providing marketing ideas, and encouraging me to grow my business. He’s delivered orders for me and is my test taster when I create new recipes and combinations. His encouragement has helped me grow my business and he’s pushing me to take it to the next level.

Website: www.cookiecupcommotion.com

Instagram: cookiecupcommotion

Facebook: cookiecupcommotion

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/cookie-cup-commotion-richmond?utm_campaign=www_business_share_popup&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=(direct)

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