Shelby Adams has a long, storied culinary history. He cut his teeth in New Orleans at Commander’s Palace, moved home to work at Hot & Hot Fish Club, Bottega and Standard Bistro, and then landed in Homewood where he opened a bustling bakery business at a favorite frosted-cookie hot spot: Icing on the Cookie.
“I always wanted to have my own business,” says Shelby, who grew up in Mountain Brook before attending Baylor University. “I wanted to have the ability to be closed on the weekends and spend time with my family.” That’s all in reference to his wife, Katie, and three kids, 7-year-old Evy and 3-year-old twins Benton and Mabry, who are tasked with managing “quality control” at the bakery.
His passion for family life drove him to expand his cookie business to cater to more than your sweet tooth too. Outside its cookie case, the bakery offers Take It Easy Take Home Dinners with a rotating seasonal menu, perfect for the busy holiday season. “We offer chicken pot pie, butternut squash soup, Whole 30 and Paleo soup options, cassoulet and more,” Shelby notes. This staff of three, with the help of part-time holiday staff, churns out iced, traditional, and bar cookies, as well as savory menu options.
While Adams loves his menu and business, the best part of working at and owning Icing on the Cookie, which opened in 2009, is working with the customers.
When Adams moved back to Birmingham to be closer to family, he settled in Ross Bridge, then looked to Homewood to open his business. “We thought that there was a niche in Birmingham for themed, decorated cookies,” says Adams. And Homewood had the “demographics to fit our target audience,” he continues.
These days, Adams finds himself surrounded by over 400 cookie cutters. For Thanksgiving, Icing on the Cookie features frosted turkeys, pumpkins and pilgrim hats. Christmas brings out Santas, gingerbread men, stockings, ornaments, snowflakes and about a dozen other options. While you can walk in during business hours to pick up an assortment of festive treats, if you want certain designs, or the coveted cheese straws, you need to order ahead.
The next time you need to spruce up a party table, pick up favors, or plan teacher gifts, Icing on the Cookie might be just what you are looking for. Shelby’s staff help you personalize each treat so that you can see (and taste!) the love that goes into each cookie. While you’re there, grab yourself a casserole to go and a few treats for Santa, too. That’s one guaranteed way to end up on the Nice list.
Cookie Crumbs with Shelby
Cookies Sold in a Day: 3,000 during December
Cookie Cutters in the Shop: 400+
Pounds of Butter Used in a Week: 150
Pounds of Sugar Used in a Week: 150
Pounds of Frosting Used in a Week: 100
Most Popular Cookie Design: Baby Shower
Best First-Time Order: Ginger Cookies
Favorite Place for a Non-Cookie Meal: Homewood Gourmet
Favorite Homewood Weekend Activity: Coffee Drinking
Coffee Order: Dark Roast, No Creamer
Chocolate or Vanilla: Vanilla
Sprinkles or No Sprinkles: No Sprinkles
Sweet or Savory: Savory