WHO: Austin’s Magnolia Lee Baking & Sugar Art.
WHAT: A creative solution for a special order that got canceled too late.
WHY IT’S GREAT: Mary Lee of Magnolia Lee Baking has a system for taking special orders: customers pay half the price up front, and the other half two weeks before the order is fulfilled. After all, her bakery business is how she pays the bills. However, when a customer who requested a dozen dinosaur-themed cookies tripled the order, she took the initial deposit, but forgot in the hustle of Valentine’s Day—one of the busiest days on her calendar—to get a deposit on the additional cookies added to the order.
Because of the holiday, she went ahead and started baking the cookies, ordering custom dinosaur images to go on top. When the customer realized that buying three times as many cookies cost three times as much money, they canceled the order. “The tricky thing about being a home baker is that this is how we pay for daycare,” Lee says. “When something like this happens, it puts down your job and what you do. It hurts your feelings a little bit.”
Still, after getting stuck with three dozen dinosaur-themed cookies, she rebounded quickly. Lee, who taught elementary school for twelve years, had seen plenty of valentines with unrelated images on them before, so she went ahead and converted them for the holiday. Writing messages like “You are Dino-mite” and “You make my heart ‘saur'” and piping pink frosting along the border, she transformed the unwanted dino-cookies into three dozen custom Valentine’s Day cookies.
They went quick. Lee gave some to administrators at her daughter’s school, packaged some for counselors at the YMCA, and passed one on to a boy who identified an Indominus Rex on the cookie’s surface on sight. What might have been a bad business experience turned into a cute personal one. The treats are gone, the holiday is here, and Lee says she’s over it. “I have to move on,” she says. “I don’t have time to wallow in cookies.”