115 12th Ave SE Suite 100 in Norman
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Nancy, go head and tell us your origin story with how Cookies and Cards came to be?
Back when I was 21-years-old I opened a gift store on Campus Corner. I was upstairs above the Town Tavern and I used to sell jewelry and things I made cause I made jewelry then. It was a dream come true to actually own a store and be 21-years-old. Times got tough of course and to raise some money to keep the gift store going, I had to start doing something on the side. So I started working at the Town Tavern restaurant. I was a waitress for awhile, a night manager, and all kinds of things. When my store got busy, I had to start doing something else on the side. Betty, who owned the tavern, said, “Hey, do you know how to make desserts?” Oh, yes cause I knew I had seventh grade home ec so I was an expert at making desserts. I just kind of dove in and started baking things. I baked cookies, cakes, brownies, and things like that for that restaurant. Other people kind of liked what I was doing and I had convenience stores asking, “Hey, can you bake us some cookies” or could you do this for us. “Yeah, yeah! I can!” I had to say yes you know and I got into the baking end of it.
Time came along when I was able to open a store that combined the bakery and a gift shop and that’s how Cookies and Cards came to be. It was a little tiny eight-foot-wide hole-in-the-wall, but plenty of room to bake in and I kind of grew from there. I later moved into another larger location with Cookies and Cards in a place where I was for over 20 years. But then somebody came along that was able to pay more rent – I understood – pay more rent and rejuvenate the building the way the landlord wanted it on. I just couldn’t do that at that time so I had to move on and I did.
I found a place in an area on 12th Street and Alameda on the East side. This place had parking and no parking meters and was a gorgeous, brand new building. Oh my gosh, I bit off an awful lot, but we have now finally gotten open with a lot of help from friends, family, and fans cupcakes and all. Finally, I’m in my new location at 12th and Alameda with the new Cookies and Cards.
What are people’s first impression when they come here?
“Ooooo! Awwww! This place looks huge!” It does look bigger, but it really isn’t. It’s actually footage wise smaller than the other store, but they don’t have all of the walls, and not so many things hanging down, there’s lots of open space, and seating in a whole different outlook. I’ve got a beautiful bakery case now to really show off my goods, which I’m loving.
What is your place famous for?
Currently famous for cupcakes and Nancy’s Cup-Cakery – that’s what I call my little section of cupcakes and they’re going very good. I work so hard people just eat up all of the evidence and I have to make more.
What are your other popular items people can find here?
I’m also famous for my sugar cookies with strawberry cream cheese icing. We also got greeting cards and unique gifts, things made by artists here in Norman and the Oklahoma City area. There’s lots of wonderful jewelry and greeting cards. There’s still a need for greeting cards – not everybody sends e-mails. I kind of have something for everybody.
What keeps you motivated?
I love my job – I really do. It’s motivation just to come and bake goods and people come in with smiles and hand you money and come back and just staying in business keeps me motivated.
What separates you apart from national chains?
I’m a sole owner. I don’t have any big backing or anything like that and it’s more homemade than their mass produced things and I’m going for taste instead of fancy decoration. I’m not a good decorator so It’s a good thing I don’t try to decorate, but I should make a good tasting product. It’s homemade, like Mom would make you.
Anything else you want to let our viewers know before we wrap up?
I wish everybody would come see my new place. I’m really proud of it and we’re still growing into it. I do a fun thing on the first Thursday of every month at 8 o’clock at night we do a big event called Cake Eaters Club. I come out of the kitchen with six different hot cakes and we serve hot cake currently with frozen custard from the Custard Factory right around the corner. They worked with me last time and Rusty himself and scooped custard on pieces of hot cake for three dollars a cake. Everybody should come to Cake Eaters Club and come in between times too!
Three words: Cake Eaters Club. On the first Thursday of every month at 8 pm, shop owner, Nancy Russell, brings out a variety of hot cakes served with frozen custard. Each slice of cake is $3. No membership required, just bring your date for some delicious cake. Cookies and Cards is also home to many other treats during normal business hours.
Be sure to visit Cookies and Cards Facebook page for more information.