National News

Mother living off food stamps discovers hidden talent that changes her life: Cookies

Posted June 25, 2018 1:27 p.m. EDT

— In a home in Iona, Idaho lives the "Cookie Momster."

Timanee Olsen is a stay-at-home mom who owns a custom cookie business under that name. The business is fairly new, but it's taking off like wildfire and changing her family's life in the process.

Last December, Olsen and her husband were living on food stamps and struggling to make ends meet for their family. Olsen made some "ugly Christmas sweater" cookies for a Christmas party and posted a picture on Facebook. Someone saw the post and wanted some for their Christmas party too.

"I figured out how much it would cost to make them for her. I made like 75 of them," Olsen tells EastIdahoNews.com.

Word continued to spread about her highly decorative cookies and it wasn't long before Home Depot got in touch with her. From there, the orders just kept coming.

"It literally fell into my lap. I didn't do anything (to advertise). It just happened," says Olsen.

Olsen's sister, Kenadee Sexton, got involved in the business when Olsen found herself unable to fill all the orders she was getting. Olsen recruited her sister to help out with a special order.

"An autistic boy was having a birthday party. He didn't like cake so he requested cookies," Sexton says. "It took me 13 hours to make 24 cookies."

Those cookies, according to Olsen, were a huge hit.

"She nailed them. They were amazing. (The boy) was really into Pixar. She did Mater and Lightning McQueen. She also made the Pixar logo with the lamp and absolutely knocked it out of the park," says Olsen.

Sexton is now taking orders of her own as a partner in her sister's business.

"I don't think people realize how much work Timanee puts into her cookies. She makes them all from scratch and churns them out a lot quicker than I do," Sexton says.

Today, Olsen has orders booked six weeks in advance and doesn't have time for anything else. But she is grateful for the work because those food stamps are now a thing of the past.

"We have struggled for a couple years and we've worked hard," Olsen recalls with emotion. "This has completely changed our world. I never thought I'd be 32 years old making cookies seven days a week. I feel so lucky."

Olsen is working on getting a business license in hopes of opening her own storefront.

Olsen says she is happy to work with any budget. If you'd like to place an order, call (208) 569-5883. You can also visit her Facebook page to learn more.