“Welcome Back to Childhood.” Those words greet you when you go to the Sofia & Grace website. Instantly, it becomes apparent through the cookie flavors offered and the owner’s story of why those words are so accurate.
Shalonda Vazquez, founder of Sofia & Grace Cookie Company, grew up making cookies with her grandmother, and now it’s something she does with her daughters. She left a secure job to start her own business. Though it was, she admits, scary, she did it for her daughters — Sofia and Grace, the shop’s namesakes.
“They mean the world to me. I just wanted something for them and this is for them.”
For Vazquez, this company is about creating generational wealth for her children. And what a delicious way to do it. The uber-popular cookie shop is serving up gluten-free, vegan and traditional options with flavors that combine a bit of childhood nostalgia with a lot of creativity. Some favorite picks include the gluten-free chocolate oreo, the vegan red velvet and the cornbread with agave butter. Every cookie is a little bit familiar and a lot of bit innovative.
In order to come up with the cookie recipes, Vazquez says she just sits down with her staff and brainstorms about what they’d want to try themselves.
“The important thing to me is that there’s flavor there,” says Vazquez.
She wants taste to be poignant, the moment you bite into one of her cookies, she wants you to be able to identify what the ingredients are.
“I’m an entrepreneur and this is my passion,” says Vazquez. “Sometimes you can’t always look at the money but you have to look at what your heart wants to do.”
When asked what advice she’d give to other Black female entrepreneurs, Vazquez says, “Don’t put too much pressure on yourselves. We as Black women put a ton of pressure on ourselves … just take your time. Do it. believe in yourself. And have faith.”