Foodie Friday: A Chat With EyeCandy’s Nichole V.

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For our first Foodie Friday, I’d like to introduce you to someone who is near and dear to my heart: my sister and confection connoisseur Nichole V. Some of my earliest foodie memories include cooking and baking with this lady on weekends when my mom was at work and my dad was occupied with yardwork or car projects. This freedom to create in the kitchen inspired her life-long passion for cooking and baking. To this day, even informal gatherings around her kitchen island turn into bountiful feasts of epic proportions! No one goes hungry in Nichole’s presence.

Today, she’s taken her life-long panache for whimsical sweets and cake-y treats to the next level with her EyeCandy confections business in the southwest suburbs of Chicago.

Catering friends’ and family members’ baby showers, baptisms and birthday parties was a natural fit for this young mama of six-year-old Nicholas. This summer, her venture has taken off big-time, and just about every weekend, she and biz partner/BFF Becky G. have been up to her eyeballs in flour and sugar for big custom cookie and cupcake orders all over town.

I got the chance to talk to her about the secrets to her sweet success and how she balances baking and being a mom …

EB: What inspires your creations?

NV: Mixing art and food together makes for a happy event. Our clients trust our inspirations and creativity.

EB: What about being in the kitchen makes you feel most at home, most comfortable?

NV: Although a successful recipe largely comes down to science, baking is also very therapeutic. Where else can you listen to your iPod and girl talk all day while playing in flour and sugar?

EB: When did you get EyeCandy off the ground? What were some of your first orders?

NV: EyeCandy was founded in 2001. It started off as kind of a hobby – experimenting with chocolate making holiday candies and cookies for friends and family. One Halloween, we made some taffy apples for a friend and jokingly, she said “You should do this for a living.” After that, we started making taffy apples and cookie designs for friends and family. It wasn’t until a good friend asked us to create a design to raffle off at a silent auction for the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) that we got serious. The design received a lot of attention and sold for more than $160. This opportunity gave us the confidence we needed to take our talents outside the realm of friends and family.

EB: Everyone loves your lemon cookies – they’ve become your signature. How did that come about?

NV: Like any good baker, you need to do your research. After many trials and errors, we finally found a recipe that would stand up to our design but needed a little more pizazz. Lemon is known for brightening up dishes – it seemed like the perfect complement for our sugar cookies. It is our No. 1 seller.

EB: Who inspires you? Do you have a favorite chef?

NV: There is something to say about having a best friend. Mine is Becky G., who I’ve known for 35 years and is also my business partner. I can remember her running over to my house asking my mom if I could come over to bake cookies with her and her mom. I’d drop everything and run right over. Her mom was so patient, letting us crack the eggs, roll out the dough, use her fancy cutters and whip up some of the best buttercream you’ve ever tasted. Honestly, every time we whip up a batch of dough, it takes me right back to my childhood.

EB: What is your calling card? Is it all in the product or do you think your outgoing personality and dedication might have something to do with your success?

NV: The dedication we put into these cookies comes from true passion. Our clients trust us and give us full range to be creative. Becky and I are both very detailed-oriented people. Some might say two strong heads in the kitchen is a recipe for disaster, but we really complement each other.

EB: What are some of the more unique projects you’ve done?

NV: Baby showers and graduations are the most popular requests for cookies. We did centerpieces for the Chicago Bears Super Bowl XLI. Every year, we raffle off a themed basket of cookies for UCP. Bachelorettes will order some “Sex and the City”-type cookies. Cupcakes have been high in demand, as well.

EB: You seem to be a big critic of your work — you’re always “test kitchening” and trying new recipes and tweaks to make your batters and icings. Tell me more about that process.

NV: One thing I will say, practice makes perfect. Every order we do we learn new tricks to make our product better each time.

EB: We have a lot of readers who are parents. What’s balancing parenthood like with the demands of cookies and cupcakes flying out of your kitchen every weekend?

NV: Nicholas (my son) loves to cook/bake. He’s not afraid to roll up his sleeves and help out. I make him his own dough to play with. He has his own rolling pin, apron and cutters. This gives him a sense of participation without being front and center when Becky and I are in production with an order. Our general rule is to bake late at night and frost early in the morning when Nick is asleep – that schedule helps me balance my mom duties!

EB: What can we expect from EyeCandy in the future?

NV: We would love to see EyeCandy in a storefront someday. As long as we’re filling orders, we will always remain dedicated to creating sweet treats that are truly unique to each individual and event.

Become EyeCandy and sister company FH Catering’s Facebook fan here. For more information on EyeCandy, contact Nichole at nicholettem@sbcglobal.net.

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1 Response to “Foodie Friday: A Chat With EyeCandy’s Nichole V.”



  1. 1 This Birthday’s Gonna Rock « Mommy's Alright Trackback on January 11, 2011 at 10:11 pm

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