Carrie Buchanan of North Canton, Ohio, owns and operates Bombshell Cupcakes & Cookies. I was so excited to actually have a baker’s dozen interview with a real baker! (FYI, Carrie, I don’t bake…I don’t even cook if I can get out of it! Ha) Just look at that array of designs on her Walking Dead cookies! How could you ever just pick one? Then I wouldn’t want to actually eat it; it’s too pretty, so I’d have to buy a second one, then a third, then a…..well, you get it, right? She’d better bring lots of cookies! Carrie has no elves in hollow trees helping her; it’s all her own magic in the kitchen. Read about her exciting adventure here.
Where are you from, past and present, and where is your business located?
I’m from Cleveland, Ohio! I attended Kent State University, after which I lived in the Akron area. I have lived in North Canton for the past 6 years. I operate my business, Bombshell Cupcakes & Cookies (licensed home bakery) from my house.
When did you discover your talent for baking and creating?
I have always been a creative, artistic person. I developed a love for cooking about 15 years ago. I started baking after I divorced 6 years ago and needed a way to thank the people who helped me with my move. I decided to make muffin-sized cupcakes with fillings and fun toppings as thank you gifts. After that, my kids would ask me to make those special cupcakes for their friends. I started to come up with more flavor combinations which I would practice and give to friends. Baking became a way for me to show appreciation and also to channel my creativity.
Carrie with her beautiful daughters.
Did you always want to own and run a bakery?
No! Not at all. This venture was born from my daydream of running away to join the carnival and have some kind of original, creative food booth. It was suggested to me that I should set up a booth at a local summer street event in downtown Canton called First Friday and sell those big cupcakes I make. Bombshell Cupcakes was born that day – I had no idea what I was doing! I just made 10 different flavors of cupcakes, got a pop-up tent and a table and I sold out so fast I thought perhaps this would be a great way to make some extra money. I started taking orders from friends and family. My father (a printer) made me some menus, labels, and business cards with a logo a friend of mine designed. I launched a Facebook business page and have grown solely through the use of social media. That was 4 years ago. Since then I have continued to operate my business on evenings and weekends (I work full time as a social worker for Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities). I have never advertised but am booked most of the time.
How long have you been in business?
About four years.
What prompted you to begin decorating using a The Walking Dead motif?
Last spring I went to Horror Hound Con to see some of my favorite Walking Dead cast members. Before I left I decided to make some of my custom sugar cookies with The Walking Dead logo as gifts for the people I planned to meet. When I was at the convention and saw all of the vendors, I thought maybe I could get involved with that, using my decorated cookies. Since I love conventions and was already familiar with what con goers enjoy, I thought perhaps the cookies would sell well. Being a huge fan of The Walking Dead has made it easy to keep coming up with new designs inspired by the show. I just started vending this Spring at several cons, including Walker Stalker. The Walking Dead cookies have received a lot of positive attention! I sold out on the first day of Walker Stalker Comicon Chicago and booked my booth for Atlanta this October.
Have you met any The Walking Dead cast members? Can you tell us about the encounter(s)?
I have! I met Michael Cudlitz several times and he has been so kind to retweet some of my designs. I’ve met several other people – having recently vended at Walker Stalker Chicago I was able to meet several more cast members and they are always very sweet. When I met Josh McDermitt, he had one of my “Eugene Brings the Sex” cookies that had been purchased at my booth and given to him as a gift by one of his fans. He said he loved it, so that was really exciting.
Do you bake only cookies and cupcakes or do you bake/make other things, also?
I started out only doing cupcakes, cakes, and cake pops. Last year I started doing the custom sugar cookies which have been amazing! The majority of my business is now the cookies. Because I can customize for any event, theme, business logo, etc., they have become a much more popular item.
How many different The Walking Dead designs do you use for your cookies and cupcakes and can you tell us about them?
I think I’m up to about 30 different Walking Dead designs and always coming up with new ones. My most popular designs have been the Abraham “suck my nuts,” Eugene “fully respect your hair game,” and all of my Negan cookies. My cupcakes come in many varieties and I specialize in “jumbo stuffed and topped” with flavors such as Junk in her Trunk (cookie dough and fudge filled chocolate cupcake topped with whipped buttercream, crushed Heath bar, and a Reese’s cup), Miss American Pie (apple pie filled cupcake with buttercream, caramel, and a handmade mini apple pie on top) – just to name a couple. It’s a step up from your typical cupcake for sure.
Do you make any other themed confections?
Right now, with the limited time I have, I’m sticking with themed cookies. My cupcakes, cakes, and cake pops are all specialty, and I do not offer the elaborate fondant designed cakes some other bakeries offer.
I’ve done 3 comicons so far and have found that I do best at Walker Stalker so I am going to focus on doing 3-4 of those a year. Because this is part-time and I do everything from home, with no commercial equipment, it takes me a very long time to produce what I need in order to vend. I will be at Walker Stalker Comicon Atlanta in October. In 2018 I’m hoping for Chicago, Nashville, and maybe Philadelphia or New Jersey.
Have you sold your baked items at a comicon or will you be doing so?
I did my first ones this year and Walker Stalker Comicon Chicago was incredible. The fans are amazing and I was grateful to sell out on the first day! I had brought 700 cookies with me, not knowing if it was too many or too few. Next time I will bring more!
Do you ship baked goods and if so, where can fans find what is available and how to order?
The wonderful thing about my cookies is not only the designs and the flavor – but they ship beautifully. I roll my cookies out 1/2 inch thick which makes them a very “hearty” cookie. I ship often. Several times per year I offer specials (Christmas and Valentine’s Day) and ship those all over the United States. Since the convention I have received orders for my The Walking Dead cookies from all over.
I can be found on Facebook: Bombshell Cupcakes & Cookies; Instagram: bombshellcupcakes; and on Twitter @BombshellCupca. I can be reached most easily on my Facebook business page messenger or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for orders. Walking Dead cookies or any designs you can throw at me!
Is there anything else you can tell us about you and your baking business?
I absolutely love owning my home bakery. I am a third generation home business owner. It is especially important to me because I am honoring my grandmother’s legacy – she also worked from home as a seamstress. Both of my grandparents were Holocaust survivors and talented creative people in their own right. I know they would be so proud! I dream of owning a storefront bakery – to be able to devote myself full-time to my art. But my career as a social worker for people with developmental disabilities is also very important to me. In my greatest fantasy I would own a storefront bakery and also employ people with disabilities and be able to combine both of my passions into one successful career. I never imagined I would be doing this at all so I can say for sure, I do not know what the future holds for me. All I can do is keep doing the best work I can do and see what happens!
I guess I had incorrectly thought the baker behind Bombshell Cupcakes & Cookies would be a little, old lady, like a grandmotherly type. I never expected her to actually BE the Bombshell! Now I understand! Carrie sent this photo of herself in her home kitchen where she bakes up all these delightful treats – both to the eye and the palate. I’m just thankful I live nowhere near North Canton, Ohio, or I would have no money left and probably weigh about a ton from buying her cupcakes and cookies. They look and sound scrumptious!
Look for Bombshell Cupcakes & Cookies when you attend a comicon, especially a Walker Stalker one, and buy a cookie or two or three or…..well, you know. You might get lucky and get a selfie with the Bombshell, too!
Source: All photos supplied by Carrie Buchanan of Bombshell Cupcakes & Cookies