Friday, June 9, 2023

Here’s how this cookie business is creating a more ‘personalized’ experience

One of Cari Mezick's favorite cookies that "spark joy" is the custom order of Winnie the Pooh cookies (WYDaily/ Courtesy of It's All Sugar 2 Me)
One of Cari Mezick’s favorite cookies that “spark joy” is the custom order of Winnie the Pooh cookies. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of It’s All Sugar 2 Me)

Cari Mezick started baking cookies as a way of spending time with her daughter, Tayah.

Now she owns It’s All Sugar 2 Me, a home-based bakery business in Toano that sells custom cookies and caramels in Hampton Roads.

“I’m self-taught but I go on YouTube and I have some cookie friends in Virginia and around the country where we share tips,” she said.

Mezick started cooking at a very young age with the “older generation” of her family — her parents, grandparents and great aunts.

“I learned how to make things from scratch with actual lard,” Mezick said, adding she never went to culinary school.

Originally from Vermont, she moved to Williamsburg 17 years ago with her husband, Angus.

“For a while I was doing nothing and out of the blue, I got invited to somebody’s house to make caramels,” she said.

Mezick had a great time making caramels and decorating cookies, she went back to the person’s house, who taught her how to put icing ––or flood –– a cookie. She started making cookies for friends and then gradually opened her own business.

“My family has been very supportive of my business,” Mezick said, noting her daughter actually came up with the name for her business since everything Mezick makes has sugar in it.

Her husband, a software engineer for Lumber Liquidators, helps make the dough while her daughter packages and cuts the cookies.

Since 2014, Mesick has crafted homemade custom cookies for customers for every occasion, from birthdays and anniversaries to graduations and baby showers. She consults with clients to figure out what they want such as narrowing down the particular shade of blue and other design aspects.

A dozen of vanilla bean sugar cookies costs about $36 depending on the design, and orders must be placed two weeks in advance.

While she uses different cookie decorating techniques such as hand painting, gold painting, stencils and airbrushing on the sugar cookies, Mezick also does “drop” cookies like chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and the like as well as caramels in flavors like sea salt, pumpkin pie, apple cider and espresso.

“Ninety percent of my business is cookies,” Mezick said. “When I first started 90 percent of my business was caramels.”

Custom made caramels (WYDaily/ It's All Sugar 2 Me)
Custom made caramels. (WYDaily/ It’s All Sugar 2 Me)

It’s been “wicked” busy with Mezick averaging 6 to 7 orders a week. Each order is usually two dozen cookies.

Currently, Mezick does not plan on expanding anytime soon but has mulled the idea of having a “boutique-esqe” type of shop with appointment hours or possibly renting a commercial kitchen.

She finds the work and her business rewarding because she gets her art “out there” and also brings smiles to people for whatever special occasion they are celebrating.

“You’re getting a more personalized experience and also you’re ending up with something you had a part coming up with,” Mezick said. “Where else can you get a cookie with your name on it?”

For more information or to order cookies, email Cari Mezick at You can also follow It’s All Sugar 2 Me on Facebook and Instagram.

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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