How One Entrepreneur Uncovered Her True Passion and Launched The Cookie Guru

Are you looking for a boost in confidence and a little inspiration this morning? I assure you, if you read today’s guest interview with The Cookie Guru, Aurélie Vacheresse, you will find just that!

During this interview, Aurélie discusses how she uncovered her true passion for spreading love through baking cookies, and how she launched her company, The Cookie Guru.

See below for this amazing interview (NOTE: all images throughout this post were provided by and are owned by Aurélie Vacheresse):

1) Clearly you’ve created a company based on your true passion—the balance of nourishing one’s body and one’s soul with cookies. Tell us a bit about how you came to uncover this passion and what happened to make you take action and start The Cookie Guru.

I don’t know if there was one moment when I uncovered this passion. But it was a natural evolvement of all the different experiences in my life. I have many passions and there are many things I would be happy doing for work. I think the moment for me, was after my Dad and I closed our 2 year-old business, Club Gourmet. I realized I didn’t know what I wanted to do anymore and I also realized how little control we truly have over exactly how things are going to turn out. I thought that with enough hard work, enough 17 hour work days, I would make Club Gourmet supersuccessful and it would be my ticket to wealth so that then I could do whatever I wanted and not have to worry about money.

Everything I had done up until that point was a side job in my mind. I will do this and be really successful so that then I can go act / dance and not have to worry about making money. Once I realized my plan of working on something I was less passionate about in order to work on something I wasn’t passionate about wasn’t working out, I really had to take a look at my belief system. I also looked at other people who had been successful in life and I realized the truly happy and successful people that I admired were all successful by being themselves. From that moment on I set the intention that I would be successful by being myself and doing something that came easily and naturally to me.

Since there are a lot of different things that come natural to me, this intention left the door wide open for the Universe to show up with something I may not have thought of. This something happened to be the cookies. I have always had a passion for baking, but I don’t think I ever recognized or talked about baking being a passion. Looking back, there is clear evidence pointing to the fact that I loved to bake.

When my Dad would take me to take your daughter to work day I would always head straight to the pastry kitchen and help dip strawberries into chocolate. The first time I ever cooked by myself I made a soufflé and then when I was in Junior High School I took over the Christmas cookie making and would create lists of all the different cookies I would make. As I got older I used any dinner party opportunity to showcase my talent with dessert and became obsessed with trying out as many recipes as I could from Pierre Hermes. Clearly, I love sweets and if I weren’t concerned about staying healthy, I would make chocolate my breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The balance of nourishing my body came from having a father who is a chef and who made vegetables and healthy eating taste amazing.

Just because the cookies showed up doesn’t mean it was a straight line to starting my business and opening my shop. I actually resisted it for a couple years and only dabbled with the idea, until I had this amazing coaching session that made me see how connected the cookies are with my purpose. Food is all about energy and cookies are all about love, joy, and comfort. Part of my purpose is to share and spread love with the world and I get to do that with this business. Simply put, my cookies are a vehicle for love. After that realization happened a little over a year ago, I wrote a business plan for the cookie shop and then I released all attachment as to how I thought it would show up. Fast forward to April 2011, two weeks before the Grand Opening of the Market (which is where my first store is located), I hadn’t signed the lease and still didn’t know where the funding to open was going to come from. Again I released attachment and then 9 days before the Grand Opening I received the money and literally had 8 days to build a business. I could have said no because it really was insane, but I chose to just say yes and I am so glad I did! When the opportunity showed up to step towards my vision, I breathed through the fear and leaped.

2) Where do you find the inspiration for all the featured flavors you offer?

Inspiration comes from all over. Sometimes I dream up flavors in my sleep. Meditation is also another place that I get ideas. The first feature flavor I created was the caramel cookie and that one just came after brainstorming with my Dad. The coconut-oatmeal chocolate chip was inspired by my Mom who always used to put coconut and oatmeal into the chocolate chip cookies she baked. For some of the others I look and see what flavor combinations are popular and I also like to think about food memories or great desserts I have had in the past.

3) You’ve had quite a bit of press and you are looking to expand nationally. To what do you attribute your success?

All I can say is that when you are aligned with the Universe and truly trusting of the process, magical things happen. I started meditating twice a day in March 2011 and for me it changed everything. I have always worked on myself, taking a look at my ways of being and my belief systems and also doing outward things to help manifest the life of my dreams. I have done vision boards since I was 18 and worked with life coaches. All this had been helpful, but something was missing. For me, meditation was the key that unlocked whatever had been formerly blocked. All of a sudden I felt more in tune and in sync with the Universe and things started happening at a rapid pace.

4) What advice do you have for entrepreneurs who have the passion and a dream, but are struggling to bring their vision into reality?

The two things that have helped me the most are 1. Get comfortable being uncomfortable and 2. Stay open or, as I like to call it, detached attachment. I have technically been an entrepreneur for the past 6 years, but it was only a year ago that I finally claimed it and recognized that I would never work for someone else for the rest of my life.

Once I claimed my entrepreneurship, it made it a lot easier to be ok not always knowing how I was going to pay my rent. Being able to breathe through the smaller fears has prepared me for the much bigger fears that have shown up since opening my business. It is not always easy, but the rewards and growth experienced by putting yourself out there and allowing yourself to follow your passion are amazing and make working through the fear totally worth it.

Detached attachment is all about having a vision, and having intention, but not getting caught up in exactly how it is all going to happen. This does not mean meditating on the couch everyday will make your vision a reality because you are literally detached. Rather, it is the balance of holding a vision and then taking action, but being open to changing the action if something shows up to guide you in a different way. Be in the moment and trust the process and stay open. You might think you know the best way to make your dream happen, but trust me you don’t. Most of the time the way it shows up is even better and more magnificent then we can ever imagine.

5) It’s the holidays, which means it’s a big time of year for corporate gifting. Why are your cookies the perfect gift to send clients, colleagues, and friends?

The best gifts are the ones that create a memorable experience for the recipient. We remember experiences more than things, so giving cookies is not only an act of love but you are giving the gift of joy and happiness. When people bite into a truly delicious cookie, they experience pleasure, satisfaction, and bliss. What I love about my cookies is that they engage all of the senses. They come beautifully packaged and the cookies themselves have a signature look. I am told often that people know my cookies are going to be delicious just from looking at them. Then they take a bite and are in heaven. People remember my cookies and they definitely remember who gave them the cookies. So if you want to give a memorable gift then my cookies are the way to go.

About Aurélie:

Born in New Jersey, Aurélie soon moved across the Delaware River to Newtown, Pennsylvania with her family. From an early age, she was exposed to gourmet food through her parents’ home cooking and at the restaurants where her father Yves worked as a chef. When “Take Your Daughter to Work Day” rolled around each year, Aurélie would accompany Yves to his commercial kitchen. She preferred to spend the day not with her father, but with the pastry chef.

Prior to The Cookie Guru, Aurélie co-owned Club Gourmet, a Los Angeles–based organic meal delivery service. This upscale venture, which she operated along with her father, catered to health conscious eaters with a discriminating palate. Aurélie covered every facet of the business from sales to client relations, and, of course, cooking.

Aurélie believes that eating should be a balance of nourishing one’s body and one’s soul, and she balances her diet between healthy foods and delightful indulgences. Since her favorite meal is dessert, she strives to create items that she can feel good about eating while allowing herself a treat in the process.

Aurélie lives in sunny Santa Monica, CA. She loves going to the beach and spending time outside in the sunshine. She balances her sugar intake with plenty of activity: specifically dancing, yoga, biking, and running.

Connect with The Cookie Guru on Facebook and on Twitter.


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