Cookies & Conversations bakery looks to help build meaningful relationships
CHICAGO (CBS) -- It's Foodie Friday, and today we are highlighting a bakery where it's okay to talk with your mouth full.
Cookies & Conversations, in the Pilsen neighborhood, is a small Black-owned business that's currently operating as a one-woman show.
Founder and owner Leah Tibbs is using her sweet desserts to foster relationships worth savoring.
Tibbs does it all – from pop-ups to deliveries to cooking classes – and she's doing more than just selling desserts, she's trying to get us to talk to each other again.
"Visually, it just started off as a cookie box type of situation, where I want people to experience each other," she said. "That in-person connection is really what it's about."
Tibbs' cookies were inspired by the lack of connection she noticed between groups of people who were spending time together, but who were ultimately disconnected.
"It was actually a direct response to going outside, and seeing folks go out to eat, everybody would be on their phone. .. We need to interact and engage, and the way that we usually do so is over food," Tibbs said. "So I created a product that had cookie-making, snacks, tea, conversation cards for you to enjoy each other's company and bake together."
Her company has since grown to include a myriad of different cookie-centric activities, aimed toward getting people to slow down and spend a bit of time with one another.
"Being able to share a dessert, share a treat, especially something that's made with love, allows you for that opportunity to experience time and space with someone else," she said.
Tibbs offers classes, caters events, plans pop-ups, hosts children's programming, and of course hand-delivers her delicious cookies. With an extensive and constantly rotating menu, Tibbs aims to make something for everyone.
"Utilizing cookies and just food as a form of communication, and as a way to share," she said.
Tibbs said she can serve as an example for those who might be questioning whether being a small business owner is even a possibility.
"I basically left my job in 2018 to pursue my dreams, and things have found a way to make it," she said. "I spent all that money on college degree. I'm not using it. So why not just go ahead and pursue my dream? If it works, great. If it doesn't, it's okay."
Tibbs hosts a monthly cookie talk at her shop at 2150 S. Canalport Ave. on the last Tuesday of every month. Anyone is invited to stop by for cookies and stay for the conversations.
for more features.