Welcome to #HOMETOWNHUSTLE – a SweetwaterNOW exclusive series where we highlight hardworking individuals at local businesses in our community.
This week, I had a chance to catch up with Gwen Flake. Gwen is the owner and artist behind the creative and most importantly, delicious cookies of Quimby’s Eats.
Gwen found her love for cookie decorating as a way to unwind at the end of each day. For 19 years, Gwen was a cardiac RN and when her three children came along, she was able to stay home with them. She soon realized that raising children comes with just as many challenges, if not more, than working a full-time job.
“I soon discovered that raising children is sometimes more stressful than a unit full of cardiac patients!”
That’s when cookie decorating came in, and Quimby’s Eats began.
Side Note: I know I couldn’t be the only one who was curious, so I had Gwen where the name, Quimby’s Eats comes from. Gwen explained it comes from a nickname her brothers gave her when she was growing up.
“Cake decorating proved to be entertaining for a time, but I quickly learned I didn’t have enough patience to work with buttercream,” explained Gwen.
After watching countless cookie decorating YouTube videos, Gwen finally realized she had found what she was searching for. Sugar cookies are quick and easy, extremely versatile, almost everyone loves the taste of them and they are fun to decorate.
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“Plus, if you mess one up, no worries — toss or eat it and move on to the next one. They’re not like a cake that can be utterly destroyed with one false move!”
Gwen is originally from Sweetwater County but she lived in Texas for quite a few years, and when I asked her about her biggest challenge so far, she mentioned the lack of humidity in Wyoming. She quickly found that drying times and decorating methods are vastly different here in the mountains of Wyoming.
“But my family and friends have been very gracious, volunteering to “take care of” my endless batches of test cookies.”
QUIMBY’S EATS IN 3 WORDS
Addicting, Custom, and Sugar!
“We don’t deny how sweet and fattening our product is, but isn’t that what homemade goodness is all about!? We all need to splurge now and then… Life is too short to always be healthy or on a diet.”
One of Gwen’s favorite parts of her job is building relationships with local businesses. Cookies from Quimby’s Eats have become a local favorite gift. I can’t tell you how many times throughout the past several years, that the offices I have worked at have received cookies made by Gwen as a “thank you” gift.
“I am so proud to be part of this community. We must work together and support each other, especially in this day and age. Small town businesses often offer a higher degree of personal attention and loving care to their customers, and it’s nice when we can extend that to neighboring community businesses.”
Throughout Gwen’s journey of running Quimby’s Eats, she’s experienced countless special moments. But her personal favorite is always the second a child opens their specially designed and decorated birthday cookies.
Gwen also enjoys creating relationships with customers and being able to participate in special community events.
“Getting to personally meet and greet the people you are serving is very gratifying and encouraging.”
In the short time I was able to visit with Gwen, I quickly realized she is a genuine and easy-going person and I truly think her personality is a large part of Quimby’s Eats success.
During the past five years Gwen has learned a few things about being a successful business owner, and she has a few wise words of advice she’d like to share with aspiring entrepreneurs.
“My advice to aspiring business owners would be this, be flexible! Everyone has ups and downs, good days, and bad. Be able to laugh at yourself and chalk mistakes up to experience.”
Quimby’s Eats would like to thank Sweetwater County for its endless support and generosity.
“I grew up in this community but moved away for several years. Now after returning to raise a family here in Rock Springs, it has been such a blessing to once again join the gracious and hospitable people who live here. We are so thankful for all of you!”