Entrepreneur Spotlight
Portrait of Ginny Jacobs against a blurred background
Photo: Johnny Shryock
A COVID-driven furlough led Ginny Jacobs ’14 to start a now-booming cookie-baking business.
Surprisingly Baked
by Lori Ferguson
When the pandemic hit in early 2020, Ginny Jacobs ’14 suddenly found herself furloughed from the corporate dream job she’d recently begun at a Washington, D.C.-area Hilton. She and fiancé Guy Cook began baking to relieve stress, and seeking to up the ante on gratification, wrapped a chocolate chip cookie around a double-stuffed Oreo and snapped a quick photo of her creation for Instagram. “People immediately started commenting, asking where they could order the cookies,” Jacobs recalls. “Three days later, I had filed my LLC, and my business was underway.”

Today, Jacobs is the full-time CEO of Surprisingly Baked, an online store that offers customers decadent delights such as the aforementioned cookie, christened The OG Surprise, as well as the Fulla Frosting, a chocolate-chip cookie filled with funfetti vanilla frosting, the Salt Bae, a salted-caramel- stuffed chocolate cookie, and many more.

“Bucknell taught me to approach life as one big learning experience.”
Surprisingly Baked enjoyed lively sales volume during the 2020 holiday season, spurred in large part by corporate gift orders, and kept Jacobs and her team of three to six contract bakers working ’round the clock.

Having confirmed there’s a market for her goods, Jacobs is pondering ways to expand the business. “We currently have partnerships with a couple of local coffee shops, and we’re going to start doing farmers’ markets,” she notes. Plans are also underway for cookies and cocktails events with a liquor partner in New York.

“I’ve always had a doing, creative streak — I enjoy getting to the bottom of things,” says Jacobs, a cum laude psychology and economics double major. “It’s ominous to walk away from a job, especially for cookies, but I’ve always wanted to own my own business. Bucknell taught me to approach life as one big learning experience,” she concludes, “and it’s fun to learn.”