Meet Sam and Ashley, the owners of Coping Cookies in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Founded in 2020, Coping Cookies initially began as a charitable bake sale, raising funds for local grassroots organizations while serving tasty treats. As the word spread and demand grew, owners and life partners Sam and Ashley transformed Coping Cookies into a cookie shop serving Seattle’s vibrant Capitol Hill neighborhood and beyond. Sam and Ashley believe that a simple cookie can be a powerful tool to brighten your day, bring joy to your heart, and inspire you to face life’s challenges with a sweet smile. At Coping Cookies, they believe in the transformative power of a delicious treat, and they can’t wait to share that belief with you. Get to know more about Sam and Ashley in this week’s Business Spotlight Q&A: Coping Cookies.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What’s your favorite part about the community your business is in & why?
Our favorite part about this community we have all comes down to the people. With our newest storefront in Capitol Hill, it’s only brought on more people that we’ve come to deeply appreciate. Since the beginning of Coping Cookies, we’ve truly shared so much about our business and about ourselves as business owners – from small business struggles to big wins, to having deeper conversations with customers through direct messages, etc. The openness and our ability to make our brand personality is what has tied the knot between us and our customers. This makes seeing our customers exciting, it helps build trust, and most of all, it makes baking more fun because it means we get to bake for folks we care about. It makes our hearts happy to see our people go out of their way to support a locally queer-owned business!
Why is it important to you and your business that people #SpendLikeItMatters?
We never knew how much “shop small” meant until it came time to own a small business. As business owners, that “small” aspect seems so magnified up against bigger businesses and/or corporations. It means less readily available money, less professional advice via big networks, and less physical help. As a queer, woman, and Latine-owned small business, we come from families with no financial backing. We’ve had to climb mountains just to feel competent as business owners. So when people intentionally put their patronage toward diverse businesses, it gives us a fighting chance. This fighting chance is felt via monetary gain as well as emotional gain. The validation helps push us a little further. It makes us feel like we are worth the time and the effort – like we belong here!
As a business owner, what’s the strangest or craziest idea you’ve ever tried?
The craziest idea we’ve had was diving head first to open a brick-and-mortar! We had the confidence we got from our community, first and foremost. But wow it was a WILD ride! We’ve learned so many things the hard way. The good thing is now we can give some “dos and don’ts” to other small businesses.
What’s something your customers may not know about you or your business?
Our customers may not know that we are just a two-person team. As we’ve transitioned to a brick and mortar, we’ve encountered more people that may not have been following our journey via social media. People see intricate, large, and creative cookies and think there must be a team behind the magic. There is definitely a team! But just a team of two for now. We’re still learning and still adapting every day.
What are some of your favorite local businesses and why?
We can’t stop talking about Seeking Kombucha with our customers. Jeanette and Lyz are some of the kindest people we’ve ever known through all of this. They’ve been there with wisdom, with canopies when we got ours stolen, and with familiar smiling faces at our events. We also really love Cornelly. Cornelly is also a small business putting out INCREDIBLE pizza, pasta, and jaw-dropping sides. They’re people who built their spot with their own hands – much like we did. They’re the most hospitable hosts and we always leave the restaurant feeling cared for and satisfied.
Anything else you’d like us to know about you and your business?
That about covers it!