She has no name. She has no calling card. But what she does have is cookie-baking, smile-making super powers. 15 years ago, she started spreading holiday cheer to her friends and family by delivering deliciously made goodies to their doorsteps. The treats were such a hit that she soon took her baking craft to the streets, literally. Specifically, downtown Fremont at the Sunday Market.
I first meet her as she enthusiastically greeted a little blond pony-tailed visitor, just tall enough to see up onto her table of goodies. From ginger snaps to jam drops , the tempting treats were just too irresistible for this little one, and I, not too far behind, got to witness first hand the kindness of the Fremont Cookie Lady. Samples, smiles, and a few good stories are what the three of us exchanged, and I walked away struck by how the people in this community had become so attached to one particular cookie artist. She had a whole team of regulars, she told me, who she always looked forward to seeing, and they, I’m sure, were just as glad to see her. As I walked away, I was struck by the sensation that I had stumbled upon a whole new chapter to the story I was beginning.
While I originally started this blog with the notion that the artists and crafters I would meet and interview would be mostly jeweler’s, painters, knitters, wood-carvers, and the like… People who made tangible items for tools, toys, gifts, fashion, or pure aesthetic beauty. But how could I have forgotten about the bakers, jam-makers, bee-keepers, vintners, and all the other food crafters? Made by hand, created with love, designed to enrich the community around them, these delicious (and more than likely ephemeral, in my house) commodities are also often created with a greater purpose in mind and carry a significance beyond that which is contained in the item itself. Their creators, as well, will have stories well worth telling, as they too have entered a brave new digital world continuing on a timeless trade. As I continue on my journey deeper into the heart of the Seattle creative community, I will carry with me the lesson I learned from the Fremont Cookie Lady: never underestimate the power of a little sweetness, for it too can change the world.