& Free Trip to Margaritaville
“We accidentally started a bakery,” said Annie Sherman. Annie, along with her mother Julie Knight, is owner and operator of The Best Box Ever Bakery in Huntsville, Texas
After graduating from Texas Christian University in May 2015, Annie was inspired by a story her mom told about making care packages for college students with her friend Gwen in the 1980s. She wanted to start a care package business, sending fun packages on behalf of loved ones living far away. Annie wanted the recipients to open their care package and say, “is is the best box ever!” Despite having a great idea and advertising to parents across the state of Texas, Annie did not have a great response. Then she had the idea to add cookies! She researched cottage food laws and baked until she perfected the recipe, at which time she called her mom and said, “I got it! You have to come over and taste this!”
Annie’s cookies exploded in popularity, seemingly overnight! Thanks to social media and word of mouth, the business grew steadily from Halloween through Valentine’s Day, until Annie’s dad said, “This is taking over the house! Something has to change.”
Annie and Julie, with the support of their husbands Brad and John, decided to open a bakery in June of 2016. The city of Huntsville came out in droves for a crazy opening day! Julie shared, “That first night I got into bed crying, exhausted, thinking, ‘We have to do this again tomorrow?!’” Annie agreed that it was overwhelming and scary. “I knew the Lord would take care of the bakery,” she said. “I still know that. He takes care of the bakery!”
Over three years later, the Best Box Ever Bakery is still growing! They sell baked goods from their storefront, as well as custom-made cookie cutters they create with their 3D printer. They have regular, custom, and corporate orders—including their newest account with Texas A&M to bake 38 dozen sugar cookies for every home game. They also ship! They ship to two-thirds of the United States, and they send dozens of boxes every week to Walt Disney World to students participating in the college program. They also received fame by creating Mean Girls themed cookies for Black Tap in New York City, known for their “crazy shake.” The shake, topped with Best Box Ever Mean Girls cookies, was featured in Food & Wine Magazine and on Good Morning America. Last month, Tina Fey personally requested these cookies be recreated for the 15th Anniversary of Mean Girls, and Annie and Julie were happy to honor that request!
It is exciting to think about what the future holds for the Best Box Ever Bakery. Annie and Julie have learned a ton about running a bakery, and they see God’s favor in the continued growth through the learning process.
They even have dreams of franchising. Based on the delicious sampling of cookies, rum cakes, and cupcakes this writer tried, I personally believe their potential is limitless!
7:00 AM: Morning bakers get a start on the baked goods made fresh every day: cupcakes, classic cookies, and brownies. Reagan Derossett has this task on Monday mornings. Other team members are Alex Sylvester, Elizabeth Coates, Jordan Collins, and Raven McDougald. The classic cookies are gingerbread (both plain and chocolate-dipped), chocolate chip, chocolate chip with pecans, snickerdoodle, peanut butter, peanut butter,
chocolate chip, molasses, and ranger. Regular cupcake flavors are chocolate, vanilla, cookies & cream, marble, red velvet, and strawberry, paired with icing in chocolate, vanilla, cookies & cream, peanut butter, strawberry, and cream cheese.
9:00 AM: Shop Manager Erin Roberts and Assistant Shop Manager Sarah Martin arrive to ice, pipe, and decorate the sugar cookies. The shop chooses a different decorating theme to carry in the store for every day, available on a first-come, First-serve basis. emes range from holidays to local sports teams to movies and more. The sugar cookies usually sell out every day, so it is important for customers to arrive early for their cookie of choice. Erin which have been ordered two weeks in advance, due to the long process of creating custom-shaped cookie cutters; gathering supplies; preparing, rolling, cutting, and baking the dough; and allowing time to cool before decorating with homemade from scratch icing.
11:30 AM to 1:30 PM: The busiest foot traffic is seen at this time when customers stop in for dessert after lunch. In-service days for teachers are some of the busiest days of the year for foot traffic, as teachers eat lunch at one of the nearby restaurants and come to the bakery for their much-deserved treat.
2:00 PM: The afternoon bakers begin preparing for the next day, mixing dough for the night shift baker. ey perform routine shop maintenance, like washing dishes, cleaning counters, and mopping floors. They serve customers coming into the bakery, including the after-school rush. Owners Annie and Julie love when children come into the shop after school, seeing their eyes light up at the elaborate cookie designs and homemade icing piled high atop rich cupcakes.
6:00 PM: The shop closes and night-time baker Jill Lies begins rolling, cutting, and baking sugar cookies for the next day. She labels each tray of cookies by writing directly on the parchment paper, letting the cookie decorators, Erin and Sarah, know where to begin the following morning.
the Best Box Ever Bakery is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday through Friday, and 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays. They are located at 1329 University Avenue, Suite B, in Huntsville, Texas, and can be recognized by the trademark teal bench and cookie bus parked outside. Read more about e Best Box Ever Bakery at bestboxever.net.