MOUNT VERNON, Md — "Aunt Kelly is me. I'm a real life aunt. I have numerous nieces and nephews, everybody has had the opportunity to sample Aunt Kelly's treats."
Kelly Simmons is the baker creator and owner of Aunt Kelly's Cookies. Just off the light rail on Howard Street in Mount Vernon is where you'll find the cookie queen.
"I used to hang in the kitchen with my grandma. I used to help her back in the day. I remember those where some really sweet memories you know licking the bowl and adding sugar."
The sweet taste of grandma's butter crunch recipe grew into a business four years ago but she's been baking for years.
"I've been baking for my friends and family and the clients of my old profession for I'll say since 1998. That's when I really got into it. The first one I want 3 butter crunch cookies and 3 chocolate chip with walnuts."
"I opened in 2018 pre-pandemic and everything was great and then the pandemic came along and everything got really scary and stressful and a lot of things you weren't sure about, but I think we weathered it being that we never were an eat in establishment. I'm glad you guys like them."
Aunt Kelly's Cookies already has a following.
"I was driving past and I said Aunt Kelly's and I went to the website and I said really, they have that over there, said Latrell."
And now Latrell is just one of many satisfied, repeat customers. Kelly says the key to keep them coming back is consistency.
'I love the actual soft chewy cookies verses the hard cookie so that's a plus the fresh ingredients and just the authentic types of cookies such as the chocolate chip butter crunch."
Another selling point for her customers he's a female, black owned business.
"A lot of the clients are African American women or women and I say about 80% are women that buy it for themselves. They buy it for their co-workers, or buy it for their families."
Aunt Kelly's Cookies features a cookie of the month for the holidays it cran baby staples like chocolate chip but her specialty is the butter crunch cookie.
"I was born and raised here and I remember eating them in school with my peers I've lived outside the state and it's just not the same. People here love butter crunch cookies. I know if I came back and was to open a store selling cookies I'd have to perfect these."
And it seems like she's done it.