We had the good fortune of connecting with Courtney Courtney and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Courtney, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I chose to start my bakery in September 2020 while pregnant with my second child. My husband and I had discussed me leaving my current career as a high school counselor and transitioning to a career as a stay at home mom. The initial plan was to resign at the end of the school year, but due to the pandemic and our concern for the children’s health and safety in a school during the pandemic, we chose to move up that timeline and have me resign after the completion of my maternity leave in December. With the decision to change careers now coming more quickly than I had initially planned, I began to brainstorm things I could do in addition to the work at home taking care of my children. I truly believe that the role of a stay at home parent is one of the most difficult, albeit rewarding, jobs anyone could hold, however I also know my personality and I knew I would need something else to call my own. During the pandemic, I, like many others, was experiencing significant stress over all of the uncertainty. Add working full time, caring for a toddler at home, and preparing to welcome a new baby. In order to manage my stress I began to spend any spare time I had in the kitchen baking. Through that stress relieving activity, I realized that baking was just the thing for which I was looking. Baking was going to be “my thing” as I transitioned to being a stay at home mom. I began focusing on learning how to start a home bakery and perfecting recipes that would be the first items on my menu. My second son was born in early September and two weeks after his birth, I began the paperwork to get licensed as a home baker. My bakery allows me the flexibility to be present with my children, set my own schedule, work from home and have a component of my life that allows me to keep my own identity.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I own a licensed home bakery. I specialize in french macarons and other confections. I make both traditional and non traditional macaron flavors. I love experimenting with fun and unique flavors. I am most excited about working on a vegan menu which I hope to share in Spring 2022. A vegan menu is actually just a small part of a large passion of mine to be environmentally responsible. I am constantly trying to find ways to incorporate more environmentally friendly practices in my business. I’ve spent many hours researching and testing new packaging in an effort to move towards more eco-friendly packaging.

Opening my business was challenging, as I do not have a business background. I have had to do tons of research and rely on lots of trial and error. I also began the process to open my bakery two weeks after giving birth to my second son in fall of 2020. While learning the process of opening a home bakery was challenging enough, trying to navigate the process during a pandemic and raising two kids under the age of two added its own set of challenges. I overcame each challenge I faced by simply pushing forward. Any wall I hit, I tried a new path.

The main lesson I have learned is that it is important not to compare myself and my business to others. It’s okay to make my own flavors that are different from the norm. It’s okay to set my own schedule. It’s okay if my business is not as immediately successful as other businesses. It’s okay to take my own path.

One thing I would like people to know about my business is that french macarons are not only for weddings and special occasions, they can be every day treats as well. Just ask any of my weekly customers.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Atlanta and the surrounding cities are some of the most exciting places to visit. I love when friends come to town and we show them around our city. Our friends are similar to us and enjoy being outside and supporting local so one of our favorite things to do is spend a day in Piedmont Park and walking or biking along the Beltline. It’s fun to just relax and hangout in the park itself, throwing a ball or just laying around and watching the people of Atlanta enjoying the outdoors with the beautiful skyline in the background. This park also holds a special place in my heart, as it is the location where my husband proposed. After relaxing and taking in the skyline, I love to stop at some fun food stops along the Beltline. There are so many great food places in Krog Street Market and in Inman Park. Krog Street is great because with a group, you can easily find something for everyone!

Next would be hitting up some sporting events. Whether it’s cheering on Atlanta United in the new Mercedes Benz Stadium or catching a ball game in Truist Park, it’s impossible not to have a great time! Throw in some time spent at the Battery and it’s a combination for a full day of fun.

We live just north of Atlanta so we would also make sure to take our friends to some of our favorite spots around the house. For a great time just hanging out with a couple good drinks, we would for sure take them to our favorite breweries! Bucking Goat is one of our favorites for sure! It’s the perfect atmosphere for relaxing and catching up with friends. The staff is AMAZING! The beers are awesome and they always have a great lineup of food trucks serving delicious food. They host fun events like trivia nights and corn hole tournaments to provide even more reason to come out.

Another favorite brewery to visit is Reformation Brewery in downtown Woodstock. We love to visit this brewery anytime, but especially on a Saturday morning/afternoon. It’s a perfect day to visit during Farmers Market season. We like to get up early and head over to the Farmers Market to support some local small businesses and farmers, then pop over to the brewery and start by grabbing a cup of coffee while sitting under the big tree enjoying the weather. Once we are done with our coffee we like to pop back over to the market to grab some food for a lunchtime snack and then grab a beer from the brewery and just enjoy sitting at the brewery’s outdoor seating with the rest of the local community.

I could go on and on talking about all the great places to go, but those would be my highlights.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have never been asked a question with such an easy answer. My husband. To say he deserves a little credit does not do him justice. My husband is my biggest supporter, promoter, challenger, you name it. He’s it. He encourages me to follow my dreams. He gives up his weekends to help me with pop up shops and farmers markets. He stays up until early hours of the morning with me to keep me company while I bake. He’s helped me to generate business plans, brainstorm menus, test recipes, build packaging, set up for events……..the list could go on. He’s there for every high and every low. He truly deserves a shout out!

Website: www.cocosconfectionsatl.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cocosconfectionsatl/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cocosconfectionsatl

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