GETTING all kind of great invites is part of my job, and sometimes wielding camera and pen leads to some fun discoveries as well.
Buy Local held a fantastic Christmas party recently, in the home of Kyle Nikola of Families First, and there on the beautiful penthouse rooftop I was shown a table covered with some of the best cookies I’ve ever had the privilege to taste.
Baker Dawn Ciano Brosh was happy to let me sample the goods and tell me about her cottage industry, Sweet Girls Cookie Delivery.
This Italian mother of four manages to bake the fresh goods daily, delivering them to your door, all while managing a bustling household (and some dry-wall and re-painting on the recently purchased home as well!).
I applaud women entrepreneurs, talented ladies who strike out on their own, creating businesses that serve a need in the community, and being an avid foodie, I had to investigate this further.
Georgia’s Cottage Law was enacted Sept. 2012, and really opened the door for some of these enterprising women.
Dawn’s a second-gen American whose family emigrated from Italy, and she inherited those primo baking genes from a grandmother known for her making family gatherings sweet.
Nonna Mary Camera from the tiny town of Chiaromonte possessed her own private recipes from generations back, and handed them down carefully from daughter to granddaughter. From Little Italy in New Jersey, Dawn learned the secrets of the perfect biscotti and the deft touches needed to make a cake extra special.
She’s a well-rounded lady with a Masters in History from Emory, a ten-year stint in Italy as a professional translator and has even flown your friendly skies with American Airlines as flight attendant.
Sitting in front of the computer for hours rendering Italian into English can get pretty stuffy after a while, though, and being flight attendant doesn’t mesh easily with being Super Mom.
While living in Statesboro last year, where her agronomist hubby, Justin, had research to conduct, she came across the new Cottage Industry Law in Georgia. And that’s when the idea for Sweet Girls Cookie Delivery began to unfold.
The Georgia Cottage Food Law was created for those who want to make certain kinds of non-hazardous (read, doesn’t need refrigeration) foods from home to sell directly to consumers, like baked goods, candies, nuts, vinegars, granola and such.
Legally licensed from the Department of Agriculture, each vendor is carefully inspected and must take part in Food Safety training. Dawn Ciano Brosh and ‘Sweet Girls Cookie Delivery’ proudly holds the first Cottage license in Chatham County.
So how did she get started? Dig up those recipes for luscious dark chocolate chip cookies and tender, fruit-filled rugelach (a recipe from Jewish friends in NJ), throw in a range of sweet delights that she learned in Nonna’s kitchen, and add a scrumptious selection of biscotti, that famous Italian cookie that pairs so perfectly with a cuppa coffee, and you may just have a winner here.
Her daughters Daniela and Katerina are the “sweet girls” who help bake and taste-test, and Daniela designed the homey logo with two smiling children’s faces.
Cookie delivery is an idea whose time has definitely come—and it helps if you have an artistic eye for creating gift boxes. Parents of SCAD and Armstrong students find Sweet Girls a treasure, and plenty of gift boxes filled with home-made cookies & brownies have made their way across the city, delivered by Dawn, usually with kids in tow.
There’s nothing quite like a delivery of Friendship coffee and a box of chocolate-dipped orange-almond biscotti, baked from a generations old recipe by a sweet Italian mom, arriving on your doorstep!
Dawn’s also become known for her intricate cookie-cakes: many folks prefer the ease of breaking off a chunka tasty cookie to the mess of cutting slices of birthday cake.
Her bright, spare kitchen is neat as a pin, letting in plenty of golden sunlight as she takes big pans of warm oatmeal-cherry-walnut cookies out to cool. The fridge looks familiar to me, covered on the side with an array of bright plastic letters and numbers, and the cheery checkered curtains and baskets of flowers make it a homey place to hang out and help mom do her work.
Dawn says, “We homeschool, and I thought that a family run business was the perfect opportunity to teach many important academic and life skills while doing something we are truly passionate about. And as a bonus, I was excited about being able to offer people truly authentic and delicious baked treats made with wholesome ingredients like real butter, whole milk, and fresh eggs.”
Boxes can be delivered with not only bags of Friendship Coffee, but Starbucks’s bottled Frappuccinos; whole, 2% or chocolate milk and even 4 oz. cartons of Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream. Brides and those giving baby showers love her variety of cookie favors too, as well as her inventive ways with package designs.