At the Table with Kiana’s Cookie Creations

Kiana Hines, owner of Kiana’s Cookie Creations, launched her business in 2016 and now is fully booked on custom orders through mid-September.

Writer: Karla Walsh

Each week in dsmWeekly, we’ll introduce you to a local food company owned by a person of color. Catch up on the previous editions: Street Eats DSMG.G.’s Chicken & Waffles, Palm’s Caribbean CuisineArtis T’s CateringYour Mom’s BakeryJazz It UpChellie’s Sugar Shack BakeryBess Kitchen and Curly Girl Cakes and Cookies.

A lot has changed since that January day four years ago when Kiana Hines, now owner of Kiana’s Cookie Creations, sat down at her computer and Googled “icing that lays flat on cookies,” which she now knows is royal icing. She laughs at the memory—and how her decorating skills have evolved since.

Hines launched her custom sugar cookie business in February 2016, inspired by positive feedback from friends and family who were given frosting-free versions of her family heirloom recipe each holiday season. “I remember as a child, Christmas was always full of baking with my mom, using her mother and grandmother’s recipes,” Hines says. “My recipes originated from there, but I tweaked them a bit so they’d hold their shape better during the baking process. The business side of it was inspired by the cookies at bakeries that are hard as bricks. … I knew I could do better.”

So Hines started watching YouTube how-to videos, joined several baker Facebook groups and honed her impressive icing skills to adorn the family recipe.

Another motivator for Kiana’s Cookie Creations was Hines’ kids (she’s a mother to three, ages 7, 15 and 19), who are competitive dancers—not a cheap extracurricular activity. These past four years, Hines has grown her business into a second full-time career in addition to running a homeless shelter.

So far, the business has been a success. Hines has served as a mentor to other home bakers (like last week’s At the Table focus, Maya Ridgeway of Curly Girl Cakes and Cookies) and is fully booked on custom cookie orders until mid-September. Realizing she may have to take on more home schooling duties due to the pandemic and with her business growing, Hines is considering taking her cookie career full-time.

Take a peek at the completed cookies and cookie cakes on her Instagram page or Facebook (where you can place an order), and you’ll realize they’re well worth the wait.

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