Jesse Lomax Floyd got into the baked-good business by participating in that great wedding tradition familiar to anyone with roots in western Pennsylvania: the cookie table. Offered up in addition to cake, the cookies are almost always prepared by relatives instead of the caterer or an outside bakery, and after Floyd did the cookie table for her sister's wedding, an impressed guest hired her to do a corporate gig.
Now her business, Lomaxine, has five varieties of cookies for the retail market. "I like bold-flavored cookies," Floyd says, "That's what I bake and gravitate to."
She describes her chocolate sables as "very rich, very flavorful. It's full-on chocolate with very little room for anything else." The triple ginger cookies use candied, powdered, and fresh ginger. Floyd says they have "a nice kick, but they're soft." The cherry marzipan cookies use a brown-sugar dough and contain slivered almonds, dried cherries, and chunks of chocolate-covered marzipan. Lime meltaways are "traditional Southern cookies," that "melt in your mouth with a nice burst of lime." And the orange-pistachio cookies are "very delicate and not overly sweet." Floyd describes them as a "mild but satisfying cookie," explaining that they're the kind she's most likely to "accidentally eat eight of while having a cup of coffee."
She'll also be selling frosted cookies that are packaged for gift giving though Fab later this month. They'll include her buffalo cookies, which she developed as a workaround of her dislike of the taste of royal icing. "I wanted to make something visually appealing using chocolate icing," she explains. She came up with a frosting recipe that dried hard like royal icing, but tasted a lot better, then decorated the buffaloes with cocoa nibs and white chocolate. She claims not to be planning a full line of brown animals, but admits to recently playing around with a whale cookie cutter that's "realistic, less cutesy."
Floyd has a background in marketing, something that comes in particularly handy for a small business owner. She says that it really helped her understand the "importance of making myself available as an extension of the cookies." And part of that is "making sure people know how much I like doing what I do."
About the author: Stephanie Klose has more mustard than you. You can follow her on twitter at @sklose.