Rhonda Couture shows some of the cookies she made Wednesday at her home-based business, More than a Cookie, in Livermore. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

LIVERMORE — Rhonda Couture’s cookie-cutter collection began when her grandmother gave her a set when she was a little girl. It now numbers more than 1,000.

Rhonda Couture decorates a heart-shaped sugar cookie Wednesday at her home-based business, More than a Cookie, in Livemore. Her confections are sold locally and have been shipped around the world. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

After two years of making, baking and mastering the art of decorating sugar cookies, Couture turned her hobby into More than a Cookie, a business she began in September 2019 in her dining room.

“I just practiced and practiced and I gave cookies to everyone and then I started hearing that I should be selling them,” she said.

The business name came to her, she said, and reflects the joy she gets from giving.

“More than a Cookie is a feeling,” Couture, 57, said. “It’s just like when you take sugar, butter and vanilla and you put them all together. That smell, that taste, that equals More than a Cookie.

“When somebody comes to pick up cookies and opens the box and they go ‘ooh.’ That to me is worth a million dollars,” she said.

The baker has taken her time to perfect her product.

Rhonda Couture decorates the top of a cookie in her home based business. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“Unlike drop cookies, sugar cookies have many steps,” Couture said. “You have to get the dough consistency to not spread and the icing consistency has to be just right,” she said.

There are trays full of food coloring gel, brushes to apply it, utensils, cookie sheets and other equipment on rolling bakery carts against a wall. A commercial mixer sets against another wall.

On Wednesday, she decorated heart-shaped sugar cookies with love birds for Valentine’s Day. She said sugar cookies freeze well so she can bake them ahead of time and have enough inventory on hand.

The most popular shapes are llamas, unicorns, mermaids and anything trucks, she said. She takes customer requests, and during the holidays she had so many orders she had to stop taking them.

Couture said she is looking forward to a new oven, a “huge” upright freezer and cookie sheeter, a machine that rolls out the dough instead of doing it by hand.

More than a Cookie sells its products at Brettun’s Variety and Boothby’s Farm Stand in the summer on Route 4, not too far from her business. They also have been sent around the country and the world, including to Saudi Arabia and China.

Dozens of trays and collections of items that have taken over Rhonda’s former dining room turned workshop that are used in decorating her creations, like these for airbrushing. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“I’ve been shipping them everywhere,” she said. “I’m amazed or surprised how much it has taken off.”

“It is consuming my life,” Couture said. “My hobby has turned 100% job.”

She said her husband, Ron, is her biggest supporter. “He’s the best,” she said.

“I never had this dream to have a cookie business,” Couture said. “It has evolved.”

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