Made in Connecticut: Stratford’s Hartwork Cookie Company
Meet Jessica Brainsky, a Stratford woman who creates cookies for special occasions that are works of art, and straight from the heart.
Brainsky says she didn’t know she loved decorating cookies until a few years ago — now she’s hooked.
She says Hartwork Cookie Company started with having leftover cookies that she’d bring to her job, and suddenly, people wanted to put in orders.
The demand for her cookie art led to a career pivot from school guidance counselor to cookie creator, which surprised even her.
“It's really enjoyable, it's like therapeutic. It's kind of like therapy with cookies,” says Brainsky.
And her work has delighted more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, which showcases the bite-sized wonders.
“Baking is a big part of my life. It runs in my family, my mom, my grandmother, my aunts. Like baking is in our genes,” says Brainsky. “And the taste was the most important thing. I was a baker first before I was a cookie decorator, so the cookie has to taste good.”
So Brainsky developed her own dough and icing recipes to go above and beyond. She also creates her own cookie cutters using a 3D printer.
“When my clients order from me, I do ask for creative freedom,” she says. “So sometimes they'll send me an invitation, which I love, or maybe they have like a vision board on Pinterest.”
A cookie may seem like a simple way to celebrate life’s special moments, but Brainsky’s sweet spot is in the tiny details.
“I want the clients to receive these knowing that my heart was poured into them because they're custom-made,” says Brainsky. “There is so much joy in this. I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to do something that I love every single day.”
Brainsky says she plans to grow her business with a line of cookie cutters, recipes and more. She also teaches cookie decorating classes.