By Emily G. Peters
Lent is nearly over—and for some that means sugar is back on the menu in a big way. Fortunately, Monrovia’s Lemon Drop Cookie Shop has been supplying the sugar fix with its custom gourmet cookies since 2012.
“Having a family that prefers anything other than cakes, I went in search of the perfect decorated cookie to bake for celebrations and events. After twelve years, I finally found it and perfected what is now our Signature Lemon Glazed Cookie,” said Kelly Quezada, founder and owner of the bakery. “These cookies have been requested over the years for every holiday, party or school event that comes up. Being told time and time again that I should make these to sell, I decided to do just that—and created Lemon Drop Cookie Shop”
With an abundance of bakeries in the San Gabriel Valley, Quezada elevates her sweets by exercising a tricky skill: patience.
“It took me three years to have a snickerdoodle I’d even put on our menu. I’m still working on the perfect peanut butter cookie,” she said, whose classic-with-a-twist cookies also come vegan and gluten-free. Of particular importance is the difference between iced and glazed.
“One of the things that keeps us unique is that our custom cookies are a soft-glazed—not iced—sugarbread with a light lemon flavor,” she said. “They are all individually hand-glazed and decorated by our very dedicated team.”
It’s that team that allows Quezada, who runs the business alongside her sister, Crystal Murguia, to creatively cut loose. A local client favorite includes their “Fresh Baked Cookie Break,” where a dozen warm cookies are delivered right to your door (even with milk!). For those with a specific vision, Lemon Drop Cookie Shop offers edible printing, which allows Quezada to put virtually any image on her glazed cookies.
“We also print images for others to use on their own cookies, cakes and cupcakes,” she said. “It really takes the party theme to another level.”
With the retail side of her business growing steadily, Quezada has turned her attention to baking cookies for a cause. After watching her sister Crystal battle with breast cancer, in 2016 she created a nonprofit arm of Lemon Drop Cookie Shop called the Butterfly Kisses Foundation. The foundation delivers cookies to children with critical and ongoing illnesses or disabilities.
“Our second annual ‘Cookies of Love Day’ is May 1, 2018, and we are really gearing up for it,” said Quezada. “Last year we reached 600 kids. This year we hope to double that.”
Now scoping out a commercial kitchen, Quezada ultimately aims to grow Lemon Drop Cookie Shop into a household name—and credits the community for those future hopes.
“I strongly support and am grateful for the support of other independent businesses. It’s hard work, but my wish for everyone is that they could do what they love, and love what they do,” she said. “I try not to ever take it for granted.”