Lebanon woman hopes to find sweet spots with cookie business


Valley News Correspondent

Published: 03-13-2023 9:46 AM

LEBANON — Katie Boardman’s culinary endeavors began with her children and have continued with inspiration from her female relatives.

Prior to catering and baking, Boardman, a 44-year-old Lebanon resident who holds a degree in therapeutic recreation, worked with children and adults with disabilities.

“I really loved that,” she said. “Then I had kids and I chose to stay home with my kids. I have six. ... I’m really grateful I could do that.”

Boardman grew up in Edmonton, Alberta and attended high school in Utah. She met her husband, Casey, at the University of Utah. They moved to the Upper Valley in 2017 when Casey, who is retired from active military service and currently a member of the Vermont National Guard, took a job with an expeditionary medicine company in the area.

While home with her children, Boardman started to take interest in nutrition because she wanted them to eat healthy food. Once focused on food, Boardman said she “steered towards baking.”

When Casey was taking classes and exploring other career options, starting in 2009, Boardman did catering and baking out of their home.

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“I made dinner for working moms,” she said. “I delivered dinner to their families, and then I did cakes and desserts, cupcakes, cookies; everything for weddings, parties (and) showers.”

Boardman’s secret to the treats she makes is found in the ingredients.

“I use all fresh ingredients,” she said. “If I have a caramel cookie, I make the caramel. If I use cream, I whip cream.”

Doing so is somewhat of a family tradition.

“My grandma just always said, ‘Use real cream, use real butter, just use the real ingredient,’ ” she said. “... I was raised in this environment where I knew how good food gathers and invites.”

Not only are her ingredients of quality, but so are her recipes, which often come from her female relatives, grandmother, aunts and mother.

“I definitely call my aunts and my mom,” she said. “I run ideas off of them; they have the things that work for them that they’ve passed down.”

Her favorite things to bake are cookies.

“When it comes down to it, if I can choose cake or cookies, I will always choose the cookie,” she said.

To come up with a new variety, Boardman said she likes to think about a common dessert such as banana cream pie and then try to turn it into a cookie.

“My banana cream cookie is in between a shortbread and a sugar cookie,” she said. “It has fresh bananas, a banana cream on top and then vanilla wafers.”

Boardman served up her treats last summer at the Lebanon Farmers Market.

“The farmer’s market community … they’re incredible,” she said. “They’re so loyal. They’ve been great cheerleaders. I’ve obviously been terrified to take this step, but it’s my farmer’s market community that I feel like if they like me I can do this … they’ve been really great.”

Lawrence Wilde, a Toronto resident, and his family tried Katie’s Cookies at the Lebanon Farmers Market while visiting friends over the summer.

Reached via Facebook Messenger, Wilde said he was, “quite frankly blown away by how good they tasted.”

Now with her youngest child in first grade, Boardman is investing time in Katie’s Cookies.

Casey Boardman saw that the space formerly Twice on Sundae, next to Salt hill Pub in Lebanon on the pedestrian mall, was available and suggested she take the leap.

News of the store’s planned opening has been welcomed by customers, including Wilde.

“I think the store will offer people the opportunity to indulge in very delicious cookies, and perhaps the best thing of all is that she does a wide range of different flavors,” Wilde said. “I would think also that the store would enable businesses in Lebanon to pick up cookies for their business meetings and events.”

Boardman said she sees her business having a commitment to social responsibility.

“My goal is within three years to be completely local: eggs, flour … and I’m not talking big flour companies, but local farmers,” she said. “I would love to do the whole thing local. Everything will be compostable.”

Boardman hopes that the food she makes will bring the community together at her shop.

“I just want this to be a warm inviting place, where it doesn’t matter who walks through that door, they’re going to feel welcome here,” she said. “… That’s my big thing. I just want this to be a safe place.”

Katie’s Cookies’ grand opening is slated for March 25.

Laura Koes can be reached at laurakoesjournalism@gmail.com.