We had the good fortune of connecting with Cory Anderson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cory, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
Oh goodness, so many things. Honestly, I think one of the best things in life is finding inexplicable joy in the little things- a new book, the first sip of tea, seeing a really twinkly star on an evening walk. But I’d have to say that the thing that makes me the happiest is finding ways to make other people happy. Whether its something really elaborate and festive for a birthday or a holiday (I have no chill whatsoever when it comes to celebrating things, I just can’t help myself and I get carried away every time) or something simple like a hug, a letter, a text or some fresh baked cookies just because, it makes my heart so warm and happy to see someone break into a smile. Now that I think on it, pretty much my entire life and career ties back to a love of seeing people smile and getting to celebrate the good and happy things in life.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve been acting and baking since I could babble and stand, but they evolved into careers very differently. I decided to make acting my career at a very precocious six years old and never looked back. Theater was my home and my happy place growing up and then expanded, after college, to encompass so many different avenues I’d never thought to consider. It has certainly been a circuitous path, at times, but I am so grateful for the opportunities to perform across the country and around the world and for the opportunities to dive into film and tv here in Atlanta. As any creative will tell you, there are plenty of large and small challenges along the way but I truly believe that if you surround yourself with the right people and trust your heart, you will always find things to help you rise through the hard times and come out of it with a new story to tell someday. 2020 was a wild year for everyone (and certainly filled with ups and downs), but in so many ways, it ended up being one of the best years for me. I started off working on the pilot for Whet Ink Productions’ Infinite Jest which combined my love of theater and, specifically Shakespeare, with a sitcom format in a way that I hadn’t even dreamed of. Then, when the quarantine began, I all of a sudden found myself diving in to opportunities with actors from across the country and around the world. I worked as the swing and the food designer for Food of Love’s virtual production of Twelfth Night: Welcome to our Table last fall and it was a dream come true. And, icing on the cake, we were just honored with three nominations and one win from the New York Shakespeare Awards. I’m collaborating with them again for a Valentine’s Day project and I am so excited.
Baking, as a career, was a bit of a happy accident and very much a byproduct of acting. I’ve always baked for birthdays, holidays, rehearsals, stress relief… but I’d never considered it as a career until a few years ago when my acting teachers and classmates did a LOT of encouraging, nudging and friendly badgering until, finally, Baby Deer Bakery was born. Baby Deer does all your traditional sugar, butter, flour cookies and cupcakes but it was really important to me to make it as inclusive as possible. As someone with a somewhat fussy stomach and knowing a lot of friends with dietary restrictions and/or severe allergies, celebrations involving food (baked goods especially) can often be unintentionally exclusionary and no one should have to miss out on a celebration because of an allergy. So, in addition to all the traditional recipes that I grew up making or watching on Food Network, Baby Deer also has vegan or gluten free variations for almost every item and does a lot of custom orders for people who can’t go to a regular bakery. It is certainly a challenge at times, but I genuinely enjoy the process of researching and creating a new recipe and learning about the different ingredients, techniques and substitutions that can be used. And in the end, there is an unparalleled joy in delivering someone the first birthday cake they’ve eaten in years or recreating an old favorite they thought might be out of the question after a significant dietary change.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
You know, I’m still having so much fun exploring the city myself. The Botanical Gardens and the Aquarium are currently the top of my bucket list and I have a long list of restaurants I want to try. Being a theater kid, my favorite places for a day/night out involve tickets to a show. I love seeing a national tour at the Fox, every single show I’ve seen at the Alliance has been spectacular, and I’m a big fan of Shakespeare on Draught. I’ve been so delighted by the vibrant creativity in Atlanta; if you have the chance to take in Atlanta art, in any medium, take it. For food, one of my favorite recent discoveries is Little Bear in Summer Hill. Their menu changes every week and is such a creative and fun balance of foodie gourmet and approachable, familiar foods often with tongue-in-cheek descriptions (I’m a big fan of their use of pretentious flowers). They do a four course prix fixe dinner that blew my mind and made Wednesday night feel so fancy. I would also be remiss to not shout out Strive Foods. I’ve been so fortunate to be part of the Strive team since I moved to Atlanta. Strive is vegan and gluten free but truly has something for everyone and the food is made with so much love and enthusiasm for good and healthy food (and usually some kitchen singalongs).
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am the absolute luckiest person in the world to be surrounded by family and friends who offer me boundless support, encouragement and love. Drama Inc. has been my creative home in Atlanta since I arrived and their teachers and students are the reason Baby Deer exists (not to mention all the opportunities to work and grow as an actor). And my family, biological and chosen, are my greatest sources of joy, celebration and support. I could never thank or celebrate them enough.
Instagram: @coryanderson_ @babydeerbakery
Headshot: Catherine Dyer, CDyer Photography