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Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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Student makes cookie company dream a reality

Chanon Cummings and her mom love to bake.

When they fire up the oven and haul out the mixing bowls, the boys in the family know that the kitchen will be covered in cookies for the next 36 hours. When these two make their almost-famous sugar cookies, they do them up big. It all started with a family recipe for sugar cookies. Her mom taught her the steps, but for reasons she can’t explain, Cummings has the baker’s touch when it comes to making the perfect mouth-watering cookie.

“Every holiday we would make all these cookies and give them to teachers and our friends,” she said. “(We were) in the kitchen every holiday, all the time. (We would have) like 500 cookies laid out and done.”

Cummings can’t explain why, but whenever she makes cookies, any kind of cookie, they simply taste better, she said.

“My mom will tell you, and it’s not a competition, but we can both make a batch of cookies – same recipe, we can both stick them in the oven and take them out – and there will be a difference between the cookies,” Cummings said. “Mine are always better.”

At first, the Cummings duo only made cookies for their family and friends. Everyone always raved about the baked goods, and anyone who tried them wanted more. Once word got out, the orders started flooding in and the two joined forces to create Cummings’ Cookies.

The bakers have filled orders for baby showers, a sweet sixteen and holiday parties — their biggest sale went to Samsung, where Cummings’ father works. He brought some left over cookies into the office for his co-workers one day, and the cookies got rave reviews, he said.

“They were just some circle smileys and they went crazy over them,” Mr. Cummings laughed. “They ordered cookies to be shipped to L.A. with the blue Samsung on them. Then, the Chicago office got wind of that and they wanted them. Now, they want us to ship them over to Korea, which isn’t even legal. I always joke that at least I have a future in Korea because they seem to go crazy about our cookies.”

The mother-daughter team has baked and decorated thousands of sugar cookies, but they haven’t been able to eat the cookies in six years. Cummings was diagnosed with Reflexive Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome, which is a chronic neurological syndrome that causes chronic pain throughout her body. She had to make a lot of lifestyle changes, and one of them was giving up her delicious cookies.

“We used to be able to eat them until my sophomore year of high school,” Cummings said. “When I had to go gluten free, (my mom) went gluten free with me. Now, neither of us eat them. It gets tough, but I try my best.”

Cummings might not be able to eat the left over dough or sink her teeth into one of the soft sugary cookies, but that doesn’t stop her from baking more. Her mom became her support system, best friend, business partner, and one day she hopes that together they will own their very own cookie shop.
jsmith@lanthorn.com



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