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Cookies, please: Oh Darling Sugar Cookie Co. brings tasty treats to Hartselle

Story by Jacob Hatcher

Photos by Rachel Howard

When Victoria Tutwiler made her first batch of sugar cookies in 2016, she would have never dreamed she would find herself sitting in her own retail cookie shop, decorating cookies while she discussed the beginnings of her business. 

“I tried to do sugar cookies for Christmas and didn’t realize they took six hours – and I started an hour before we had to leave,” Tutwiler said. While the cookies did not turn out quite as she expected, Tutwiler’s spirit was not broken and for Easter 2017 she decided to make another attempt at her own tasty treats. 

“I thought we needed something to hand out at church, so I texted the church leadership and asked if they would like me to make some cookies. They said they would love that and asked me to make 300 packets of cookies. I’d never done anything like that before but I said, ‘Sure! I’ll do it!”

The next year Tutwiler made cookies for Easter again, and then began to get requests from friends and family for birthday parties, baby showers and bridal parties. What started as a batch of very basic sugar cookies made on a whim turned into royal iced character cookies in short order. Tutwiler says her husband raised an eyebrow when she began buying expensive equipment after having only made a few batches of cookies, but she knew she was onto something.

“At the start of this I owned and ran a cleaning company. I’m doing all of these cookies on top of that and hadn’t really thought about doing this for a living, but then I lost childcare in February 2019 so I just decided to do cookies. I had the stuff to do it, so I decided I would just do it.”

For a couple of years, orders came pouring in from friends and then eventually she was being contacted by people she didn’t know who had seen her cookies on social media and at mutual friends’ events. In 2020, Tutwiler purchased a screen printer and, after a significant learning curve, she found herself being connected with a group in Huntsville called Trade Bank.

“I went to a Trade Bank gathering and made a cookie with all of their companies logos on it, but I didn’t know the Trash Pandas were going to be there,” Tutwiler said, “but the finance executive for (team) had one of my cookies and called me two or three weeks later wanting cookies for her food service director, park director and a few others because they wanted to try my cookies.”

That was in August 2021, and in October, the Trash Pandas reached out wanting Tutwiler to be the cookie vendor for their Winter Wonderland, a forty-seven day event with Christmas lights, vendors and entertainment. When she agreed to take on the Winter Wonderland event, she had two weeks to prepare for having a cookie hut with decorating sets fully stocked daily as well as having a booth to sell cookies in for four hours each night.

“I was staying up after I got home baking cookies, waking up and baking cookies,” she said. “Just to have stuff there. It was bananas.”

All of this baking was still being done in Tutwiler’s home, and she knew that if she was going to continue on the trajectory she had been on, she would need a commercial kitchen. After a few leads for a commercial kitchen fell through, Tutwiler received a call with an opportunity she never saw coming. Following a whirlwind weekend, a deal was finally struck for retail space in downtown Hartselle.

In early October 2022, Oh Darling Sugar Cookie Co. opened its doors on Main Street.

“I just started baking up cookies I had and making more and thought, ‘I’ll open up and just see what happens.’ Our first day we sold 900 cookies,” she said. “I had fifteen people at one time just standing here waiting for me to bake cookies because I had nothing left.”

Tutwiler said she never had any aspirations to have a retail store. When she first started baking cookies, it was just something fun to do, and she never imagined being where she is today. “I’ve learned to just never say never, because it’s probably going to happen.”

Having been hunkered down in her home all of these years, Tutwiler finds having a retail space in Hartselle surprisingly refreshing.

“Hartselle has been very welcoming. It’s been nice to have people come in and to have people stand in my window and watch me decorate. And God’s really had His hand in every situation. That’s why I can stay motivated, because God wouldn’t have given me all of my these opportunities for me to fail.”

Oh Darling Sugar Cookie Company is located at 307 Main Street W.

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