For Paige McCurdy-Flynn, the recession was a much-needed push into a new career path. After losing her job at Fortune Magazine, where she had been a production manager for eight years, McCurdy-Flynn left the world of magazine publishing to enroll in culinary school.
Now McCurdy-Flynn is a freelance food stylist by day and cookie entrepreneur by night. “I wanted to do something on my own. It’s by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” she said. “Every little thing takes so long. It will take hours just to design a flyer.”
McCurdy-Flynn started Cookie Fairy Sweets in fall of 2011 with her husband, James, who still works a full-time job in magazine publishing. Their company makes fresh-baked cookies that are stored in the freezer and reheated in the oven. “It’s an interesting challenge because it’s getting people to rethink where to buy a cookie,” she said. “People don’t necessarily think to go to the freezer to find a fresh-baked cookie.”
So far the couple’s biggest challenge has been finding the funds for production; they’ve been boot-strapping for months. “We’re getting by, somehow we’re miraculously making it work, but it’s been challenging,” said McCurdy-Flynn.
She found that getting the cookies into stores wasn’t as difficult as she had anticipated and that it helped to be based in Brooklyn. “Buyers like that there are so many Brooklyn companies making these amazing products,” she said. “You cannot find that anywhere else – it’s incredible to actually be living in a place like this. I’m from South Texas and they don’t have anything like that.” Cookie Fairy Sweets products are currently sold at specialty food stores including Union Market, Brooklyn Fare, Westerly Natural Market and Bob & Betty’s.