A little over a decade ago, Sarah Gerditschke graduated from Durham College’s (DC) Automotive Technician – Tool and Die/CNC program excited about her future in the trades – but she never realized that would mean cutting dough instead of metal.
Today, Sarah is the owner of Dream Day Cookies, where she designs, creates and bakes intricate hand-piped sugar cookies for events and clients.
“Tool and die making and baking are actually very similar,” says Sarah, who opened Dream Day Cookies in 2017 while on maternity leave with her first daughter. “You’re taking a raw material and using precision tools to create a design. In both instances, you get to be creative, use your hands, and you have to be meticulous. I love that part about what I do.”
Within a year of opening Dream Day Cookies, Sarah was overwhelmed with the demand – so much so that she was able to hire her mom and her sister to help out. In 2018, her work was featured on the Kate Aspen blog and in Wedluxe magazine. As a result her cookies flew off the shelves at local pop-up markets and online.
As her business thrived, Sarah also began cultivating relationships with other local artisans who she was meeting through her work. Inspired by the passionate and diverse community of makers within the Durham Region and Greater Toronto Area, she recognized an opportunity for a new business venture – a permanent market storefront where vendors could rent shelf space and set up shop on a regular basis.
In April, her vision became a reality when she officially opened Markets by Dream Day, a beautiful, bright storefront in Brooklin, Ont. that boasts handcrafted products from more than 60 local vendors, featuring everything from sweet and savoury treats to attire, jewelry and home décor.
“I wanted to create a safe, positive and accessible place where people can shop, grab a coffee, take a workshop, hang out or just relax, and a place where passionate makers can share what they’re working on,” Sarah explains.
Since opening, Markets by Dream Day has been buzzing with activity. The artisans are frequently restocking their shelves and Sarah has found support from other local businesses, some who share photos of the products they’ve bought on social media and others who visit the store two or three times a week.
“It truly warms my heart being surrounded by people who genuinely appreciate the work we do as artisans. People walk into our store and they know that what they’re buying has been handmade and that they’re supporting a mom being able to put their child through dance lessons, or a student who is trying to pay tuition.”
While Sarah has put her cookie making on hold for a few months as she adjusts to the crazy life of a store owner, she reflects on where her journey began and how it has prepared her for this new and exciting career in entrepreneurship.
“Of all the skills I gained at DC and in my program, what I really learned, that is hugely important in any trade, is how to hustle. It all comes down to hard work.”