Fortune Cookie for Mica Parekh.
Mica opens the door, and I see her smiling at me. She’s already wearing an apron and an LSU baseball cap and hurries towards the kitchen.
“Is it OK if I keep working while we talk?” she asks. “I have to finish these cookies for orders coming up.”
She points at one of her kitchen cabinets covered with little yellow stickers. Those are her orders for the next couple of days. I nod in agreement, take my cup of coffee, and start recording our talk.
Success in progress
I love watching people making something magical right in front of me. There is no doubt to me that Mica’s cookies are truly magical. I just love the cookie that Mica gives me today. It was so tasty, and it was a round shape with a logo on it ~ practice she called it ~ I’m testing this green cookie. How cool is that!
Success to Mica Parekh is when people come to her and ask her how on earth did she make such a beautiful thing. I personally always stare at her amazing cookies with awe. To me, this ‘Wow’ effect is a real sign of Art in progress.
"To be honest, you have green lips," she says to me and laughs.
Mica is a photographer, an entrepreneur, and now she is also a signature art cookier. It all started in October 2018 when her adopted granny Bobbie called Mica out of the blue and said: "I need you to make some LSU football cookies." Later on, her granny Bobbie couldn't even explain why she asked Mica for it. There was no reason. Bobbie said that she just felt like it was a good idea. The most surprising part was that Mica said, "yes."
I never thought it would be a thing.
"It truly came out of nowhere! Now Mica's Sweets & Treats a REAL thing," she says and keeps cutting little hearts out of the dough on the counter. "I was just turning forty-seven and started getting freaked out. I was asking myself: is this it? Is this all that there is going to be for me???"
She would never guess that a couple of purple and gold cookies with LSU-letters written on them will turn her life upside down! It was a huge challenge since back then; Mica had no idea of how to make a cookie that would look like a football team theme, let alone any from Louisiana.
Out of love
“My mom was a great cook and a great person. I miss her so much, so I decided to do this LSU cookie baking chore in my mom’s honor. I bought some stuff, read some articles. Before I knew it, I was making cookies all day and night. What I didn’t expect at all was that this little hobby of mine was going to become my business,” she says.
“Then how did that happened?” I ask her. The answer that I get is, in my opinion, one of the best you can wish for.
“People just started paying me money for them and telling me how awesome they were!” she says.
I can see that. Mica’s cookies stand out. They are different. They are distinct. It’s something you do out of love and not because you have to. They’re not just cookies; they can be anything you want. I’ve seen (and eaten) a Skull Halloween Cookie, a Christmas Santa Cookie, a Cat Cookie, a Fall Leaf Cookie. The list is very long, yet I am looking forward to more.
“This is what I love about it,” Mica says. “I can make people feel good. With what little time I have with them, I can give everyone a cookie and see them smile happily like a bunch of kids.”
Baptism by fire.
This is how it’s done. People get creative in their wishes, and Mica’s always up for a challenge. After two years of experimenting with shapes and tastes, after burning a whole lot of her cookies in her oven, which she knew absolutely nothing about, Mica found her perfect recipe for her success.
“Don’t tell me it cannot be done because I’m gonna do it,” she says. This was exactly what she did when she got this unusual order for a Divorce Party.
“A divorce party?” I asked surprised.
"Sure, why not? We celebrate anything and everything, so why don't't we celebrate divorces?" she answers. I agree with her, in this case. Positivity is essential in those moments of personal disasters. No one is insured against bad guys. So what can be more positive than a cookie that says that you're ''finally free'' (and many other things of the divorcee's choice)! Now I wish I'd had this divorce cookie party when I was divorcing my first husband.
The statements on the cookies and colors were chosen by the event planner and client, and Mica brought them to life on lightly lemon-flavored cookies. Mica said, if she wants to celebrate this event in her life, then these are going to be the brightest and happiest cookies to do it with!
Another challenge for a busy cookier comes with some specific days of the year. Christmas, Hannakuh, Halloween, Thanksgiving, end of school, Teacher Appreciation, Mother & Father’s Day, Easter, etc. Even Russian Old New Year.
“One of my busiest times for 2019 was Valentine’s Day. Isn’t it just great? Love is officially the most important thing for all of us! I literally lived in the kitchen, making all sorts of cookies. It was crazy and cool!” she says. “Funny thing is that even if I got exhausted, I would never get bored of it.”
This is another good sign for me. Do what you love and love what you do, and you’ll never get bored.
Mica Parekh has been called a “one tough cookie,” and this is so true. She is the determined and tough one, but not her cookies! She is taking another chance on a great adventure, and she is going to be successful ~ no matter what. No doubt, there is a fortune cookie for everybody.