SoEn Cookie Gram: A Mother's Love for Edible Art
Updated: Mar 22, 2021
You may have seen some of SoEn Cookie Gram’s incredible cookie creations on Instagram, and this week we are excited to introduce you to the incredible woman behind them! Meet Nicki Ung, founder of SoEn Cookie Gram. Nicki is Chinese-American and went to UC Davis for undergrad and USC later on for grad school.
Nicki was inspired by her two children Sophie and Enzo, and her business name SoEn is a mix of their names. Nicki says, “I wanted to make pretty, edible art for my kids.” Now, she’s grateful to be making them for many others to enjoy as well. Nicki’s cookies are beautiful and creative, but when asked about what makes SoEn Cookie Gram unique, Nicki’s answer might not be what you expect. Rather than the cookies or decorations, what sets Nicki apart is her care and relationships with customers. She says, “Frankly, I don’t think my cookies in itself are really any different from any other cookier. The difference for me is my process and my thoughts. I really like to take the time to know my customers and really work towards making a set that works for them.”
Nicki is also very proud to be an Asian American business owner and says that operating in the San Gabriel Valley has had a big impact on her and her cookies. She shares, “I am proud to be an Asian American, and those who know me know this. I am Chinese-American (Teo Chew – huge shoutout to all my Gaginangs). Being Asian American is who I am and the SGV is where I grew up. Now I raise my kids here. The Asian community of SGV are SOOO supportive. I could not have grown my business as much as I have without them.”
Making and decorating cookies is one of Nicki’s joys, but like any other small business it also comes with its challenges. Because of the pandemic, several of Nicki’s large wedding orders were postponed until this year, limiting her abilities to take on new projects because of the effort and detail that goes into each order. Another challenge is finding a fulfilling work-life balance. Nicki shares, “I’d say the most challenging thing for me is trying to balance cookie decorating time with kids. We don’t have enough time in a day and frankly, I’d love to spend most of that time with the kids but decorating is also my way of releasing and re-energizing. It is – though – a double edge sword as well. Too much cookie time leads to burn out.”
People are at the heart of Nicki’s beautiful creations, and they are also the most rewarding part of what Nicki does. “I have made friends with AMAZZZZZING customers,” Nicki says. “Some of my customers are SO supportive of everything I do. It melts my heart how much I have come to love my customers. They are so patient and kind and I have had the pleasure of knowing and meeting some of these people BECAUSE of this cookie business – for that, I am so grateful.”
In the future, Nicki hopes to open up a small café and combine her love for creation with her love for people and the community. We will be eagerly awaiting, but until that day comes make sure to check out Nicki’s creations and try some of her edible art for yourself!
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Visit SoEn Cookie Gram's Instagram @soencookiegram for more of Nicki's creations or DM her with any questions or inquiries!
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