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Brighter bites: Auburn woman launches cookie business from home | Local News | Auburn, NY |



Like many, Courtney Demarest had plenty of downtime during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also like many, she noticed that people could use a smile due to their own downtime, or stress.

Both would inspire Brighter Days Cookie Co., a business Demarest launched from her Auburn home in January. 

Demarest, who works in customer service at a veterinary clinic in the Auburn area, operates Brighter Days with a home processor license. Before that, she worked at a few restaurants. But her love of baking reaches back further. She learned it from her mother and grandmother, and it was while she was making Christmas cookies with her family last year that the idea for the business took shape.

“I didn’t have much going on during COVID-19, and I really wanted to bring something joyful back to people,” she told The Citizen. “That’s what inspired the name ‘Brighter Days.'”

Demarest’s cookies range in flavor from cinnamon roll and mint chip to peanut butter cup and cookies ‘n’ cream, and the most popular is butter vanilla. Her specialty is sugar cookies made with royal icing. It takes the form of a hard, flat and smooth surface, Demarest explained, so it can be layered. That gives her a sugary canvas where she can pipe writing, floral patterns and more.

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“You can create a lot with it, but royal icing is not forgiving,” she said. “I’ve had some orders that are challenging, very intricate ones, but they make me a better baker.”

Demarest said she gets about three or four orders a week, some for several dozen cookies. Her summer was busy with weddings and engagements, and as the holidays approach, she’s been even busier. But she’s happy to be, and hopes the cookies she bakes spread that happiness the way she intended when she started Brighter Days Cookie Co. from her home.

“My main mission is to bring people together and put more smiles on people’s faces, to bring people together with a treat,” she said. “Something to give as a gift, or if you have a sweet tooth, for you.”