Cheshire Cat Confectionary

American Made Since 2012

Lori Byars

Chicago, Illinois
We specialize in Adventurous and Wonderful Custom Desserts, featuring fresh made, hand decorated cookies for nationwide delivery.

Tell us about your business.

One of Lori’s earliest Christmas gifts was a kitchen set, complete with stove and refrigerator and a bevy of pots and pans. She made pretend meals for hours on end before eventually graduating to her very own Easy Bake Oven. In high school, she joined the Drama Club, where she found a whole new source of artistic inspiration. After graduating from college, she spent the better part of sixteen years on the road as a Stage Manager with several Broadway National Tours including: The Lion King, Jersey Boys, and Mary Poppins. During this tenure, she had the pleasure of living and traveling all over the US and the World and gained a certain widespread notoriety for creating tasty and unusual treats in her trusty toaster oven. Unlike many in this business, she has never taken a cooking class or worked in a restaurant. Her experience comes solely from doing what she loves and Cheshire Cat Confectionary is driven by a creative vision and passion that cannot be taught or bought.

What makes your business stand out?

Cheshire Cat Confectionary shares a special niche of the dessert market with a select few. The small group of independent bakers to which we belong, believes in doing one thing and doing it very well. By concentrating on quality instead of quantity, we consistently turns out better looking and tasting products with better prices and service. What places us at the front of this group, is the choice to offer unique and custom design options that customers won’t find anywhere else. Baking trends ebb and flow but the fact remains that everyone likes sweets. Cookies have been and always will be a favorite due to their versatility and portability and their popularity has been stealthily and steadily on the rise. Thanks to the runaway success of the Food Network and Cooking Channel, kitchens have been thrust into the media spotlight. Now is the perfect time for us to join the ranks yet stand out from the crowd with fresh made, hand crafted, Adventurous and Wonderful Custom Desserts.

What's the best business advice you've received?

One of the first steps I took towards opening my own business was to contact SCORE through the Small Business Association. SCORE offers free business mentoring and has a website that provides webinars, templates, and a host of resources to answer nearly any question that you might have while starting and growing your business. My mentor, Mitchell, laughed at me when I announced at our first meeting that I would open my business in 3 months. When he saw that I was serious, he rolled up his sleeves and jumped right in with me. He taught me, "To be as prepared as you can and be flexible. Come up with a brilliant, highly detailed plan and then be prepared to throw it out the window and try something else at a moment’s notice." I've been flying by the seat of my pants ever since and what a ride it's been!

Mark Your Calendar

    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winner and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
    Nov. 7, 2014

    Join Martha at the American Made Summit kickoff cocktail party.

    Buy Tickets Now
    Nov. 8, 2014

    Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City.

    Buy Tickets Now
    Nov. 15 - 16, 2014

    Shop for holiday gifts at the Martha Stewart American Made Pavilion.

    Learn More

More Finalists

  • 2014 Audience Choice Winner
    Self taught metal artist opened up a gallery on bridge-less low country island 13+ years ago to specialize in handcrafting coastal sculptures.
    Crafts, Recycled, Upcycled, Vintage Crafts
  • 2014 Crafts Finalist


    Becca Smith
    We use domestic fibers and materials to make luxurious yarns and tools for knitting and crochet, and finished garments and home decor pieces.
    Crafts, Fiber Crafts
  • 2014 Design Finalist

    Kate Zaremba Company

    Kathryn Zaremba
    A collection of whimsical wallpapers, gift wrap, textiles, and art prints, illustrated and printed in America by Kate Zaremba.
    Design, Furniture & Home Accessories
  • 2014 Design Finalist

    The Rustic Acre

    Stacey Nehring & Paul Nehring
    He builds it, she makes it pretty. The Rustic Acre hand builds high quality solid custom furniture and home decor items with a rustic flair.
    Design, Furniture & Home Accessories