News5Cleveland.com, By Mike Holden, Posted November 14th 2022
A Northeast Ohio area college student has successfully turned a hobby and side hustle of baking cookies into a mini-empire.
By now—you may have seen the cookies showing up in your social media feeds.
They’re described as decadent, divine, and downright delicious by many.
Crystal Looney, the young woman behind the online business is proving you can do it your own way, entirely on your own, if you follow your heart.
“You can’t help but wanna get to know this cookie when you see it,” said Crystal Looney, The Dessert Aisle Founder and CEO.
The cookie or cookies in this case—draw you in and make you stop in your tracks to stare at the colors, designs and flavors.
“I just love apple pie. I can’t lie!” said Looney.
It was Looney’s mindset from the jump.
“Looney like Looney Tunes, but there’s nothing crazy happening here. No, but the cookies are a little wild.”
Looney started her online cookie shop “The Dessert Aisle” out of her home during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020—all while attending Cleveland State University and balancing her day job as a customer service manager for a utility company.
“I decided that I really wanted to take my love of food and my love of art and just put it together,” said Looney.
Armed with a mixer and some gnarly ingredients, the self-taught baker set out to find joy.
The cookie baking became therapeutic as she posted the eye-catching videos to her Dessert Aisle Instagram page and started taking orders entirely online.
The epiphany moment came on Black Friday 2021 with a special rum eggnog-stuffed frosted cookie.
“I put up about twelve dozen in my inventory. The twelve-dozen sold out in fifteen minutes,” said Looney.
By the end of the day, she sold 65 dozen of that flavor plus other flavors.
She quit her utility job shortly after and never looked back. The business is exploding in online popularity—with people ordering from California and Alaska.
“Fast forward to April of 2022 I decided wanted to do this full time. This is truly my passion.”
It’s a passion that began as a child when she says she used to read her mom’s recipe books.
She credits her mother for her inspiring her to see her true talents and believe in a dream.
“A year ago, I would’ve never thought that a cookie would change my life. Yeah, I guess that’s what I wanna say and here I am actually tearing up!” said Looney.
As Looney celebrated this new chapter—we had to get to the bottom of the cookie.
For storytelling purposes, naturally.
“The moment of truth. Cheers! Oh my gosh…. I need to like sit back for this!”
At age 27 Looney is a full-time business owner doing it all on her own, but one day wants to open a storefront or run a food truck.
Her motto is “If you gotta ask about calories, it ain’t for you!”
You can order online or through Uber eats here: