The nostalgia of biting into a Confections Bermuda “pink sand” sugar cookie brings back memories of grandma.
Allison Smith, a lawyer with a passion for baking, doesn’t consider herself as a pastry chef, but her cookies belie that. She has developed a tasty morsel with packaging that now sports the America’s Cup logo.
Smith has made cookies for most of her life — baking is essentially her Zen.
“It is a passion that I have always maintained no matter what else I had going on in my life,” she said.
“One of my very good friends described me, as ‘a baker who moonlights as a lawyer’.”
Her father moonlighted as an award-winning kite maker and her mother was a seamstress to both local and international clients.
Her parents’ entrepreneurial example stuck with Smith and her brother, who owns the commercial laundry Especially For You.
Smith remembered the aromas that permeated their home as her mother baked bread and other goodies for their packed lunches.
“My mom taught me how to bake bread, but I actually taught myself to make sugar cookies,” said Smith, who sold her first cookies as a Bermuda High School for Girls student.
“I experimented with and tweaked the recipe over the years and made it all my own until I felt confident enough to sell them as Christmas gifts.
“My passion is making people smile and it is truly a motivating force that permeates every cookie, every bow tied and every embellishment. My logo is Confections — celebrating the sweetness of life and that describes who we are and our philosophy to a tee.”
Smith explained that the business came about organically.
“I think that is probably always the case when you start with a passion and love for what you do.
“I didn’t set out to start a business in the traditional sense. It was never as strategic as that.”
Over the years, she has grown her business with the help of friends, family and volunteers who have generously donated their time to help with large scale events and orders. In fact her mother has the title ‘vice-president of Ribbons and Bows’.
“As we move into the summer season and the America’s Cup I will be bringing on more key people to help with packaging, logistics, baking and selling,” Smith said.
Often when people think of cookies they think of children, but her experience is quite different.
“There is something about the cookies that takes people back to their childhood and you can tell it’s nostalgic for them,” she said.
The way she presents the cookies are a means of artistic expression.
“I can’t draw to save my life, but I really love to create design concepts,” she said of the cookies, which are presented in a commemorative tin.
“It was a labour of love from concept to reality and took about one year from concept to actual production.
“Since my concept involved the America’s Cup logo, they were involved at every stage of development and production to ensure that their branding guidelines were complied with.”
She was a little anxious when she delivered her prototype to the America’s Cup for approval, but her fears were allayed.
“The immediate response was, ‘Wow! It’s beautiful!’”
The design is an important part of the Confections story whether it’s a tiffany blue bow on a cookie four pack, or ribbon and embellishment on a Christmas parcel, the intended outcome is the same.
“The America’s Cup packaging design actually came out of my design concept for my Pink Sand Sugar Cookie tin. My concept was an old world tin in pastel pink accented with a bow and shell.
“The rope threads are the colours of the AC logo and the stainless steel anchor head features the AC logo.
The experience of becoming an America’s Cup Licensee has been a positive one.
“I was attracted to the opportunity to place my products on the world stage and to propel the Confections brand forward to locals and visitors alike.”
Confections can be purchased at A.S. Cooper & Sons Ltd. locations, BUEI, select retailers island-wide, and by special order from Coral Beach Club, St George’s Club and Tucker’s Point Golf Villas.