Downtown Perry is about to get a little bit sweeter.
Cory Jones, an industry professional cookie artist, is expected to open a storefront for his Sweet Evelyn’s cookie business in mid-May.
The 34-year-old Unadilla native competed in the Food Network’s 2022 Christmas Cookie Challenge.
“It has been a whirlwind of just being recognized, increase of followers, significant increase of orders,” Jones said.
Jones, an entrepreneur at heart, also owns Jones and Company, a popular home decor shop that he’s had in downtown Perry at 910 Carroll St. since 2014. He carries about 75% of the Happy Everything line by Laura Johnson.
He’s in the process of rebranding the store to Sweet Evelyn’s.
He’ll feature his custom cookies on one side and his curated selection of decor, gifts, gourmet food and seasonal items on the other side — except for the china that he will no longer carry.
Jones is best known for his decorated cookies that he hand-crafts one at a time.
After his appearance on the Food Network, his mom and stepdad gifted him a commercial kitchen that’s located in his hometown. The kitchen is closed to the public except on pop-up pickup days for pre-ordered cookies.
Jones had a pop-up shop before within his downtown Perry store but said he couldn’t keep up with demand. But with the new commercial kitchen only 13 miles away in Unadilla, he’ll be able to mass produce his drop cookie creations and bring them freshly-baked to the Perry store.
Think browned butter bourbon pecan chocolate chip and banana pudding cookies.
Jones said he plans to give his cookies funky names. His banana pudding cookie will be named after his nana, the late Evelyn Goodroe, also the namesake of his cookie business.
“I’m going to call that one, The Nana,” Jones said. “So banana and my nana. I’m naming them all something kind of fun.”
He’ll also offer his hand-crafted decorated cookies on a seasonal basis in his Perry shop and via pop-ups at the commercial kitchen in Unadilla. He’ll also continue taking custom orders via social media as he has availability.
“I’ll do some decorated cookies seasonally in the new place,” Jones said. “I actually do all of that myself so it’s hard to mass produce.”
Jones is also working on a website for his cookie business.
“I’m not sure how that’s going to be structured just yet.,” he said. “But hopefully we’ll be able to ship and take pre-orders through our website.”
Jones has been baking and decorating cookies for only a few years. He became hooked from taking a class with his mother in December 2016.
He started Sweet Evelyn’s in the kitchen of his home, showcasing his baked goods on social media and selling them by custom-order and via pop-up shops.
His mom, Faye Mixon, continues to help with the baking, having come alongside him from the start. She’s retired, having served as the Dooly County tax commissioner.
His stepdad, Myron Mixon, is a celebrity pitmaster and five-time barbecue World Champion as well as the mayor of Unadilla.
Jones previously served on the Dooly County Board of Education. He currently serves as the Perry Main Street Promotions Committee chairman.
“So, that’s kind of how we started,” Jones said. “But as kid, I would always go to my great aunt’s house at Christmas with my cousins and my sister and we would make cookies — just using store-bought sugar cookie dough and store-bought icing, and I always looked like I could sale mine — not to gloat or brag — but mine always looked best.”