What do chocolate chip cookies and taxes have in common? Not much besides the fact that you’ll need a cookie after you cut that big check to the IRS, but 26-year-old Scarsdale resident Gianna Khader has managed to turn both into successful careers.
The founder of Baked After Midnight, a cookie-delivery service based in Scarsdale, Khader’s day job is as an assurance senior auditor in the wealth and asset management practice at Ernst & Young in Stamford. Khader had been baking for years as a hobby for friends and family. When she was a college student at Pace University, she made desserts to relieve stress after classes or exams. “I’d bring in whatever I made the night before to class for my friends. Then, when I started working, I would bake at night and bring in treats for my coworkers,” she says.
In February, her sister created an Instagram account named “Gianna Crocker” to showcase Khader’s decadent desserts. And soon poured in requests for orders. As an auditor for one of the Big Four accounting firms, Khader can work up to ten or more hours per day. Some nights she would get home around midnight and start baking cookies, prompting her to rename her popular account (and her new entrepreneurial endeavor) Baked After Midnight.
What’s on the menu? Black and white cookies, biscotti, chocolate chip walnut cookies, mint chocolate chip cookies, homemade tiramisù, funfetti cookies, oatmeal white chocolate cranberry cookies, Nutella swirl muffins, brownies, and snickerdoodles. But Khader is open to suggestions. After receiving tons of requests from her Instagram followers for a peanut butter cookie, she debuted one with oatmeal and chocolate chips. Not surprisingly, the standard chocolate chip is the most popular order. Crunchy on the outside but ooey-gooey on the inside, filled with tons of chocolate, it’s decadent but not overwhelmingly so .
Khader makes all of her treats out of her home and delivers locally, primarily to Scarsdale, Yonkers, and Eastchester. “Because of my work schedule, I typically take a few orders during the week to be ready for the weekend. I’m currently fully booked for the next three weekends,” she explains. “Baking is a form of therapy for me. It’s something I’ve always been passionate about and I get to make people happy in return…. The reaction I have been getting from these cookies is so amazing and rewarding. It’s seriously what keeps me going.”
A night owl, Khader has received tremendous support from family and friends. “[My mom] helps me with a lot of the preparation and has been so supportive, even though I’ve taken over her kitchen,” she says with a smile. Social media has quickly helped to turn her passion into a full-fledged business. “Every weekend, I receive text messages or shout-outs on Instagram with positive feedback from customers who then spread the word to their friends through social media,” she says. “My friends and family were super happy and supportive. A lot of the reactions I received were, ‘Finally!’”
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