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Sweet success . . . Rochelle Kennedy with her 3D cookie design, learnt from world renowned baker Marta Torres. PHOTO: GEORGE CLARK

by George Clark

A Timaru woman has turned hobby into profit, learning from an expert halfway around the world.

Llama Cookie Drama started at the beginning of 2019 to track Rochelle Kennedy’s progress in a hobby she had always wanted to pick up.

“I started having a go at artistic cookies and got addicted. After making a page on Facebook to share my own journey rather than to sell, which I am now trying to do, people would see the cookies and ask if they could buy them.”

Ms Kennedy made designer cookies for family and friends as gifts.

After she made a batch of 200 for her sister’s wedding in January, people started to notice.

“Everybody asked where the cookies were from so I decided to get registered and start sharing my creations. I was quite surprised that people wanted these at first. After supplying them for some birthday parties a couple of businesses reached out for an order with their logo on top.”

She said she usually painted or made art but the idea of eating her creations was too good not to try.

“It is a business as such, but it is mainly to support my hobby. I want to get better and better and better, starting last August. I absolutely love it.”

Covid-19 has shown an upside for Ms Kennedy in lessons from her main inspiration.

“My cookie idol is a woman named Marta Torres, a professional baker and three-dimensional cookie cookie artist from Portugal. She typically holds classes in New York and London but during lockdown she has explored private, 15-person lessons which I have fortunately been able to be a part of.”

Time zones meant Ms Kennedy woke up at 1am to workshop a three-dimensional cookie with others around the world.

“The cookie took five and a-half hours. I felt so lucky because I would never have got over there to see her in person. [I have] another lesson booked in mid-June where she will teach me how to design facial features. They are sold out and I cannot believe I got in,” she said, laughing.

“I just want to get better at cookie art. It is fantastic to have my creative hobby supported by local people, I love that they send photos of themselves or their children experiencing my cookies. It makes me feel really good.”