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Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

Haas’ online cookie business does well

CINDY WOOD/independent feature writer

Shannon Haas boxes up another batch of Flour Loves Sugar cookies to send to a customer. (Cindy Wood/Van Wert independent)

Shannon Haas started her business on a whim, a prayer, and two cookie sheets. Just two years later, she’s graduated to 15 cookie sheets and her online business, Flour Loves Sugar, is thriving.

It’s not a big surprise to her customers, who rave about the quality of her go-to product: cookies. With a strong local following, as well as growing business all over the nation via her online Etsy store, Haas has managed to turn a hobby she loves into a successful business.

Haas, a 2007 graduate of Van Wert High School, took a break from life after attending Bowling Green State University for a year. Looking for adventure, she moved to Hawaii for the next two years, where she worked as a nanny. After returning to the mainland, she attended the Aveda Institute in Chapel Hill, N.C., to study cosmetology before eventually moving back home.

A daughter arrived in April of 2011, and Haas knew that, no matter which way her life went, she wanted to be home with her child. “After moving back to the area, I was still a bit unsure of what I wanted to do,” Haas said. “But the one thing I was sure of was that I wanted to be the one to raise her.”

Focused on finding a way to be home with her daughter, Haas looked to the one thing that had always been a comfort to her. “I grew up with a grandmother who was always in the kitchen, so baking was definitely a comfort for me,” she said, adding, “I never would have guessed it would become a business.”

Admittedly, the business began quite humbly. “When I first started off, it was on a whim, with only family recipes, some borrowed boxes and a couple of cookie sheets,” she said. “I wasn’t entirely sure at the time what I wanted to offer.”

So Haas offered a variety of products, but quickly found out what her specialty was. “Cookies became my strong point, and I decided that I wanted to be really good at one thing, instead of mediocre at many. So cookies it was.”

Her concentration on cookies has served her well. With tempting creations such as “lemon loves poppy seed” and “Irish cream loves triple chip,” Haas is baking an average of 50 dozen cookies per week. During the holiday season, that number increases to about 150 dozen weekly.

While the business keeps her extremely busy, she’s managed to juggle the demands of motherhood with a growing small business. “I operate out of my home kitchen,” she said. “It works very well for me with having a toddler because I can get work done here and there where I can, instead of set hours.”

While her household does become a bit chaotic around busy holiday seasons, the family is making it work.

Haas said a big reason her business has blossomed is because of a strong online and local network of supporters, and a focus on a quality product. “I believe strongly in quality over quantity and genuinely strive to make every purchase a personal experience,” she said. “I love this business though, and I know that for it to survive it has to have a strong base, loyal customers and passion driving it.”

In addition to a rapidly growing list of online customers, Haas is also delivering her product to Perks, Van Wert’s downtown coffeehouse. Through her Etsy shop, Haas is also now shipping orders to customers all over the U.S.

Feedback from customers on her site echo the local sentiment, which has helped Haas grow an even bigger base of clients. “The feedback option is nice because it allows buyers to know what to expect from you as a seller.”

While there are aspirations to open a storefront some day, Haas is focusing on her online business — and continuing to grow and improve with each order placed. “Keeping the consistency of quality baked goods results in loyal customers,” she said. “I also spend quite a bit of time on my packaging and perfecting the small details.”

It’s those small details that have led Haas to success as a small business owner. “I personally believe that there are so many options for young adults,” she said. “Explore who are you, figure out what you love and take a leap of faith. It’s the best thing I have ever done.”

Those interested in ordering, or checking out Flour Loves Sugar’s products can visit the business’ website at www.flourlovessugar.etsy.com, or go to the Flour Loves Sugar Facebook page. Haas can also be contacted by phone at 808.753.2589.

POSTED: 03/29/13 at 7:04 am. FILED UNDER: News