Finding the sweet spot

Enterprise: Sweet Mickie

What makes them special: The business takes pains to make both its packaging and supply chain as environmentally friendly as possible, despite the particular requirements of shipping cookies.

Sweet Mickie is a feel-good gift brand that specialises in producing ‘quote cookies’ for birthdays, corporate events and other occasions. Founder Emma Head launched the business in 2015 to create cookies with personalised messages for friends and family; she made the first ones in her own kitchen.

“I had a family gingerbread recipe and started pressing funny messages into icing to make my friends laugh,” Emma explains. “It started quite organically, with the simple aim to entertain.”

After posting about her cookies on Instagram, Emma was inundated with requests for them, so she built an online store, which became an online bakery where customers were able to order cookies and have them sent to their friends as gifts.

“It’s really nice when we hear from customers offering to return boxes or packaging to be repurposed.”

Sustainability is at the heart of everything Emma does. She made the decision early on to cut out plastic from her cookie packaging and make the switch to compostable bags. “We wanted to ensure our cookies could be sealed to stay fresh in the most environmentally-friendly way,” Emma says. “We have, in more recent years, worked with suppliers such as Signet to cut out the use of plastic inner cartons within our packaging. [We’ve also changed] the way our suppliers deliver our goods so that our supply chain can be more sustainable.”

Emma has embraced recycling, sources the most sustainable items where possible and communicates to her customers how they can dispose of her product packaging in the most environmentally friendly way. “It’s really nice when we hear from customers offering to return boxes or packaging to be repurposed,” she enthuses.

Sweet Mickie is a strong advocate for, and supporter of, R U OK? Day. Early in the venture’s existence, corporate clients asked for thousands of R U OK? Day cookies for events they were hosting to mark the occasion. This continued during the pandemic, despite the mothballing of events over that period. “During lockdown, we were asked to arrange individual deliveries to people working from home and to check in with them,” Emma says. “Although the big-scale events were not held as normal, it was nice to be able to help facilitate meaningful conversations through little edible ‘check-ins’ in a fun and memorable way.”

Looking to the future, the Melbourne-based company wants to grow its national footprint; it has already launched a same-day delivery service in Sydney to complement the scheme it has in place in its home city. 

“We want to keep doing more of what we love, which is to continue to make people feel good and find new ways to do that through new products and partnerships,” Emma avers. “We want to continue to support other like-minded businesses through the curation of gifts and fun items in our online gift store.”

This article first appeared in issue 40 of the Inside Small Business quarterly magazine