Riley Johansen | Staff Editor
Twelve parts Carbon, 22 parts Hydrogen, and 11 parts Oxygen. This is the scientific formula for sucrose, otherwise known as sugar. When sugar, flour, eggs, milk, and butter mix, a cookie is created. When science and sugar mix, it creates eighth grade physical science teacher Laura Tonkin’s passion.
Tonkin, a full-time teacher at Mason Middle School and a part-time baker at home, is the owner of Sugar Creative Cookies. What was once a fun hobby, is now a blossoming business.
“I took a class with my neighbor who did cookie decorating to learn how to do some Christmas cookies, and I didn’t really think anything of it,” Tonkin said. “But Mrs. Mills (a seventh grade science teacher) was having her baby, and we were going to do cookies for her baby shower and my neighbor was going on vacation and she said, ‘You should do it yourself!’ So she taught me how to do it, and I did it for the baby shower. It was really fun, and I kind of just fell in love with it.”
Four months ago, Sugar Creative Cookies was born, and soon afterwards Tonkin had her first order. She created football themed cookies for eighth grade health teacher Kim Shaffer. According to Shaffer, they were a touchdown.
“I asked if she could do Bengals cookies for my son’s flag football team’s after school snack,” Shaffer said. “They were so amazing. I loved them, and the kids loved them. I told anybody and everybody who would listen (about her cookies).”
Eighth grade science teacher Jay Reutter said his golf outing cookies were a ‘hole in one.’
“She did golf cookies where she made golf clubs, golf balls, and greens as well as fairways,” Reutter said. “They were ridiculously impressive. I have recommended them to anybody who wants to have cookies for something, and I’m a little annoyed that she’s so good at what she does.”
Tonkin has the teachers talking, but students are aware of her business as well.
“(The students have) seen pictures, and they say they want to order them for their birthdays,” Tonkin said.
Tonkin uses Facebook as her online platform, where she takes orders from Anderson to Mason, but her business has really flourished through word of mouth.
“Her cookies not only look amazing; they taste amazing,” Shaffer said. “She’s an awesome woman. I highly recommend her if you ever need a special snack or treat for an event.”
Tonkin said baking requires responsibility and commitment, and she is willing to put in the time and work it needs as well.
“I bake one day, and I create icing another day, and then it takes at least two days to decorate,” Tonkin said. “Usually ten to twenty hours from start to finish. Also learning how to operate a small business, like how to guard yourself financially and legally (takes time), and the biggest thing for me is how to make your customers happy.”
Aside from the time it takes, it all started with the enjoyment of baking. Tonkin continues to enjoy baking today, making designs from emojis to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and is using her talent as an ‘artistic outlet.’
“I get to create art, edible art,” Tonkin said. “I get to give it away, and that makes me so happy.”