hey friends!

i'm emily, but you can call me cookie.

I’m an entrepreneur, cookie designer, and content creator with an abiding love to help people feel seen & celebrated through handcrafted decorated cookies.

 

I started Cookie in the Kitchen in my hometown of Atlanta, GA as a lil' eleven year old with a raging sweet tooth & a passion for baking. I continued it throughout all of middle, high school, and college—studying entrepreneurship & graphic design at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. I just graduated in 2022 & am now creating cookies in Nashville full time! ow ow!

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While CITK may have originated as my not-so-simple ploy to have cookies in our house at all times, over the last decade its heart has deepened & developed like flavors in the oven. Believe it or not I still LOVE making cookies and in fact find great joy in being an entrepreneur & running the business side of things too! But most of all...I love to celebrate & illustrate unique lives in an edible art form!

how it all began

When I start a project I go all-in, and it was no exception with CITK. My family is full of entrepreneurs—including my older sister Abigail, both of my grandmothers, and sort of my dad—so I was confident this "starting a business" thing wouldn't be too difficult, right?

Abigail helped draw a logo for me (see below :) and my mom helped me create a WordPress blog whereby I went under the pseudonym "Cookie" for privacy's sake. The name stuck around. To kick it off, on February 6th, 2011 I walked around my neighborhood to hand out business cards and samples of my cookies. After walking down one street, I had gotten orders for 19 dozen cookies and had to stop. 

At first I mostly baked regular "drop" cookies" like peanut butter and chocolate chip (plus whatever Pinterest desserts piqued my interest at the time), but eventually fell in love with decorating. As my skills increased, so did demand; word spread through my neighborhood, church, and school, and soon enough I was receiving orders from people who had found me from the internet.

Emily Henegar of Cookie in the Kitchen poses with cookies before starting Cookie in the Kitchen
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1) 11 year-old Cookie with the first official CITK cookies!

2) my first pop up shop (ft. an iron-on branded tank of course)

Cookie in the Kitchen logo circa 2011
Emily Henegar is baking cookies in her dorm room apartment at Belmont University

When my senior year of high school came around, I had many people ask me, "so, are you going to go to pastry school? Are you going to open a bakery?" While those ideas sounded interesting, I knew I had a desire to go to college—personally, and to learn how to actually grow and run my business successfully.

 

I found Belmont and fell in love! There I majored in entrepreneurship and minored in design communications all while making cookies in between classes and sorority chapter meetings (tlam!), in and out of residence halls, dorm kitchens, and various rental houses. I learned so much in college, but a big takeaway was that I love not only being a baker but an entrepreneur, which isn't always the case for a creative like me.

baking cookies in my dorm room kitchen my sophomore year

you might be wondering...what's next?

Since the very early days of Cookie in the Kitchen, one thing has not changed: I want to open a bakery! It may look a bit different than the original interior design plans I drew in 7th grade art class (also probably won't be in Paris lol), but the same heart is still there.

 

If being an entrepreneur while also being a student taught me anything, it is that there is beauty in the slowness. I'm in no rush to jump into anything and want to take my time to grow my business sustainably, hire the right people, and simply enjoy where the Lord has me right here & right now!

 

Don't get me wrong, I've got some plans in the works & I'm antsy as heck to have my own space! But all good things take time :) Before I can invite you into my bakery, I'd love to collaborate with you to celebrate the significant moments, relationships, and stories of your unique life. So head on up to my order form at the top of my page, and let's get to chatting!

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when i grow up i want to...

be a bakery owner

lead with superiority

have a coffee shop

have one location
only run the business

value quantity

invest in my employees and
 

have a 9-5 office job

lead with empathy

have a bakery

create a franchise
be a present owner
value quality
take profits for myself

OR

OR
OR
OR
OR
OR
OR

give back to my community

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. . .open a bakery so i can bring joy to people through cookies, treats, and coffee in an atmosphere that invites creativity and thoughtfulness.

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get to know me!

fun fact n. 01

i have an odd knack for finding four leaf clovers—i’ve found over 800 and have them all pressed & saved!

i am a...

christian • enneagram 4 • picky eater • pastor's kid • night owl  • bullet journaler • younger sister • gift-giver 

fun fact n. 02

my spotify is very meticulous—i have a ton of curated playlists that fit very specific moods and genres. i love finding new music and bands to listen to!

my friends would describe me as...

  • shannon: "perceptive towards the most minute details both as a friend and a business woman! she gets at the heart of people in what she uniquely displays for each customer."

  • molly: "like finally seeing the sun come out after a long rain—comforting, reassuring, and reminds you of grace and joy."

  • mary: "the love child of jessica day and steve jobs—a certified quirky gal and then BAM she's a savvy business woman too!"

  • michelle: "inspiring, thoughtful and intentional."

  • bailey: "driven, creative and kind, with a heart for her community and her art!"

 — join my mailing list!

behind the scenes

kitchen

I'll share with you exclusive early access to my order form when my books open, behind the "kitchen" stories, and other exciting updates as I grow my business and pursue opening a bakery. Don't worry, I promise I won't spam ya!

thanks for signing up!

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