The Whimsy Cookie Company is Little Rock’s newest bakery, located on South Bowman Rd in West Little Rock. With their original location in Memphis, Laurie Suriff and her husband decided that Little Rock was the perfect location for their first step outside of Tennessee.
Whimsy was first started in 2007 by founder and co-owner Laurie Suriff when she decided to make cookies for her husband’s clients. Suriff said, “I was a stay-at-home mom in 2006 with two young boys. My husband was a financial advisor at the time, and asked me for some ideas on what he could do that would be special for his clients. I told him that I could make logo cookies for his clients!”
For Suriff, this was the very beginning of Whimsy and she dove into learning more about cookie decorating. “I am entirely self-taught,” Suriff explained. “I purchased cookie decorating books, watched YouTube videos night and day, and did a lot of practicing.” Suriff also mentioned that she relied on her fellow cookie decorator friends, who she refers to as “cookiers,” and that they would learn from each other.
Laurie began baking for friends in the Memphis area, contributing to baby showers, weddings, birthdays, and more. Suriff says to this day that she has a special place in her heart for these earlier clients. “They continue to come back for cookies and it’s so sweet to make cookies for their kids all through school and then to see them graduate. So special to be a small part of their big events.”
Eventually, Suriff received a call from Leigh Anne Tuohy to place an order for Michael Oher (famous for their life story being portrayed in The Blind Side). Collins Tuohy (Leigh Anne’s daughter and Oher’s adopted sister) loved the cookies and Suriff so much that she approached Suriff with the idea of opening a brick-and-mortar business. Since then, Whimsy Cookie has expanded their reach by starting to franchise locations throughout the south, including Kentucky, Louisiana, Florida, and Texas.
With Suriff’s busy schedule, she doesn’t have too much time to decorate the cookies herself anymore, but she still designs all of the cookies—still a huge task with new designs every two weeks! She says, “I love the designing of the cookies! It’s one of my absolute favorite parts of the process.” Despite her busy schedule, she always bakes and designs cookies for her favorite clients: her two boys.
I asked Suriff what was the hardest part about opening a business and franchising that business. She said she never thought about opening as business as hard. “You put in a lot of hours, and I’ve spent many days working on this business, but I’ve always had such a passion for what I do. It’s always been so much fun and joy.”
Suriff includes a caveat: “That’s not to say it hasn’t been easy … but you just figure it out and surround yourself with an awesome team! If you work hard and believe in what you’re doing, there’s no reason not to succeed.”
Check out Suriff’s magical cookies at 401 S Bowman Rd.