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How Sweet It Is | By Kelly Twedell

The first things you notice when you meet Andrea McGary are her contagious smile and her infectious laugh. It’s easy to feel undone as you size up her perfect hair and fashion forward style. When you consider the rest of the picture, it’s enough to make the average woman feel frumpy by comparison. This fabulously talented mother of two has an entrepreneurial spirit and has turned a common hobby into an appropriately-named successful niche business: Sugar Envy. You won’t find McGary’s custom-designed, intricately decorated cookies in a storefront and she doesn’t work in a commercial kitchen. She takes orders online at her website, www.sugarenvy.net, and works out of her home-certified kitchen filling cookie orders to deliver locally or to ship across the country. Around the holidays she books up quickly and turns away orders for her elaborately decorated homemade sugar cookies with butter cream icing. Maintaining balance is a formula that works for this successful mom. “I like taking on as little or as much work as my family calendar allows; my business won’t ever come first before my family,” said McGary.

McGary’s cookies have won numerous awards and decorating contests, but Sugar Envy really got a boost in sales when it was featured on Kourtney Kardashian’s blog. Andrea designed numerous pairs of Christian Louboutin high-heeled cookies that were a hit for the famous reality TV star, sending loads of business McGary’s way. McGary admits that she’s not as business savvy as she’d like to be and she has learned some hard lessons along the way, but she has a passion for what she does and it truly shines through in her cookies. Networking with other professionals and reading other blogs has helped her professionally to gain more business insight.

Her passion started after a friend taught her to decorate cakes. One day, after several years of perfecting her cake baking and decorating skills, she needed something to take to her son Ian’s school for party favors. She whipped up and decorated a batch of cookies. The cookies were a big hit and McGary had so much fun making them that cookies soon became her go-to treat. “I launched Sugar Envy while stationed in Dayton, Ohio. My husband was sent to school and not deployed. I decided it was time to pursue and focus on something for me. I licensed my home kitchen and built my own website. It was time consuming but fun. I love having a creative outlet and a way to express my creativity. I enjoy seeing the finished product and being proud of what I have produced.”

Besides the usual orders baby showers, kids’ party favors, bachelor and bachelorette favors McGary has done exact replicas of military unit insignia’s and business logos. Inspiration can also be found in unexpected places. McGary says she is often inspired by decorative fabrics and papers, which she frequently copies into designs for her cookies. As a busy wife and mother, on top of a business owner, McGary has to use her kitchen for the more typical functions, too like cooking meals for Ian and Reagan, her children, ages 9 and 6 respectively, and for her husband Josh, who is in the Army. She comes from an Italian family so it’s no surprise that she cooks up pasta a few times a week for her family. Although she confesses that she is a much better baker than cook. “Baking is predictable, you just have to follow the directions,” said McGary. “I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my cookies, not so much in cooking though,” she jokes.