Student cookie designs are a sweet hit at Carmel • Current Editions

Carmel resident Paige Mangum discovered her love of cookie design when she was 9 years old while helping her grandmother decorate the treats.

“I have always loved art in various forms, be it painting, illustration, writing, jewelry making, but this artistic activity is much tastier than drawing,” said the resident of Caramel. “Growing up, my grandmother, Jill Cooke, always baked cookies for my cousins ​​and I to decorate for holiday fun. My very first paid job was in June 2021 for a bridal shower for a family friend who was looking to give me my first big break. She joked that I could hang her picture when I opened my first bakery. I was really ecstatic at the idea of ​​earning money for an activity that I was so passionate about.

The Heritage Christian School senior officially launched Too Cute To Eat cookies after her first paid job. She is also a member of the Carmel Swim Club and accepts cookie decorating jobs on her busy schedule.

Mangum recently decorated cookies for the Actors Theater of Indiana’s Sept. 9 opening night for “Nunsense.” Performances continue through September 25 at the Studio Theater at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. Meg Osborne, who assists ATI in advertising, was Mangum’s swimming coach at Heritage Christian when she was a freshman.

“The ‘Nunsense’ cookie opportunity was my first time creating cookies for a professional event, and I loved being able to support the local Carmel Theater community,” Mangum said. “Following my social media post, I was flattered and honored to receive an email from the creator of the musical ‘Nunsense’, Dan Goggin, who wanted to connect and congratulated me on the design of my cookies.”

Osborne has since retired as a Heritage Christian coach. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other circumstances, Mangum has not competed for Heritage Christian for the past two seasons. She plans to swim this season if Heritage Christian can find a new coach, but she swims 13 hours a week for the Carmel Swim Club.

“I wish I could take every job opportunity that comes my way, but it’s a balancing act between homework and swimming,” she said. “Everyone always tells me I should spend less time on each cookie, but part of the fun for me is all the intricate details and making each cookie look as good as possible.”

Cooke, who lives near her granddaughter in Carmel, still creates the cookies from her dough recipes.

“I’m so grateful to her, and it’s been fun growing this business with her,” Mangum said.

To order cookies, customers typically message Mangum via social media, either on Instagram (@2cute2eat_cookies) or via his Facebook page under his name. Sometimes, she admits, she’s just too busy to keep up with all the demands.

“My pesky schoolwork continues to get in the way,” she said. “Right now, I don’t know what this business will look like as I head into college. A lot will probably depend on which school I choose to attend. But I want cookie decorating to be a part of my life. in one form or another, whether it’s a hobby or a full-fledged business. I’ll say it’s become kind of addictive. I learn something new with every cookie job I do, and when I don’t have cookie decorating work, I think about new designs, techniques, and how I can make my next job even better. It’s a wonderful creative outlet for me.

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