Chic Spotlight: Ruth Ann Hoyt, Owner of Cookies By Design

Chic Spotlight: Ruth Ann Hoyt, Owner of Cookies By Design

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012808SPOTLIGHT.jpgCincy Chic: Did you come up with this company concept?
Ruth Ann Hoyt: No, It is a national franchise out of Dallas.

Cincy Chic: How long ago did you start the business?
Hoyt: I bought the Cookies by Design franchise 15 years ago.


Cincy Chic: How did you start the business and where is it today?
Hoyt: I started the business after my daughter, who lives in Texas, received a cookie bouquet and recommended it to me. Now, we have two stores; one in West Chester and the other in Blue Ash. We deliver all over the Tri-State area. Gift sale volumes are greatly affected by the economy. I am excited that we continue to grow, because it is somewhat of a luxury.

Cincy Chic: Do you have any tips for someone, particularly a woman, starting a business?
Hoyt: Make sure you have enough working capital to meet expenses for the initial period of time when you open. It always takes longer to be able to pay yourself and pay bills than you think. And get the best employees you can afford.

012808SPOTLIGHT3.jpgCincy Chic: What are your most popular bouquets?
Hoyt: Birthday and holidays, especially Valentines Day, are very popular (hint, hint!). Get well soon bouquets are also very big.

Cincy Chic: What's the biggest order you've ever produced?
Hoyt: We have had quite a few orders of over 100 bouquets or other pan cookies or half sheets.

Cincy Chic:
What's the most unique order you've ever produced?
Hoyt: For the most part, we create what the customer wants every day. There have been some great bouquets for many different situations such as breast enlargements, kidney donations, popping the engagement question and so on. Lots of great ideas come in, making each day different from the last and lots of fun!


Cincy Chic: Do you make different flavors, or are they all sugar cookies?
Hoyt: We also have brown sugar cinnamon available, which is very good. And we can dip the sugar cookies in chocolate first or frost with chocolate before decorating to add some color and flavor.

Cincy Chic: What's your favorite type of cookie?
Hoyt: I'm a sucker for all the gourmet cookies; I eat something different every time I'm in the shop.I guess I rarely want to eat a decorated cookie that someone had put so much time into.

Cincy Chic: Do you go home and crave cookies, or do you never want to see cookies outside of work?
Hoyt: I always love cookies, my husband too. I can't bring enough home for him!


Cincy Chic: What's your favorite thing about Cincinnati?
Hoyt: There are lots of great restaurants, the Aronoff and all the other arts. Here in Indiana, I love Perfect North Slopes and playing on the lake where we live in Hidden Valley.

Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Location: Fischer Homes Granite Spring Model Home
Model: Ruth Ann Hoyt. Owner, Cookies by Design
Makeup Artistry: Jocelyn Sparks, Zoƫ Custom Cosmetics