COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Baker is one of many titles for a Columbus small business owner known for his specialty cookies. He’s also a drag queen and a Food Network contestant.
Owner of Plenty O’Cookies, Canton native Alex Copeland is a local baker specializing in an array of cookies adorned with distinct designs celebrating various holidays, seasons, occasions and more. Inspired by Copeland’s drag persona, Plenty O’Smiles, the small business has been baking in central Ohio since 2014.
Copeland has garnered a client base across central Ohio, with thousands of followers on Instagram and Facebook. However, he said he initially feared customers would reject a drag queen as the face of Plenty O’Cookies.
“I was afraid of doing it because I thought people wouldn’t like a drag queen as part of a business,” Copeland said. “My personality as Alex is the same as my personality in drag, so it was really easy to intersect both of them.”
Now, Copeland meets the demand by operating an online shop where customers can order hundreds of designs, including cookies influenced by pop culture and designs celebrating Valentine’s Day, baby showers, Halloween, birthdays, New Year’s Eve, weddings, and more.
Copeland is a lifelong baker and realized he wanted to maximize his passion a year after he started pursuing drag. He began selling his cookies at a local market once a week while practicing and expanding his design portfolio.
Word of mouth carried and Copeland began receiving many orders from across central Ohio. Copeland’s cookies propelled him to the Food Network in 2017, where he competed on season three of the “Christmas Cookie Challenge” against bakers from all over North America.
For many customers, Copeland said he is the first drag queen they have ever interacted with. He said he is grateful for the opportunity to be an introduction to the LGBTQ+ community for so many people and hopes he can play a part in combatting negative stereotypes.
“I’ve had some people contact me through social media saying, ‘My child is coming out, do you have any resources,’ or they thanked me for being visible, because representation matters,” said Copeland. “It’s been really great to introduce people to the world of drag, to the LGBTQ+ community.”
To further his mission, Copeland teaches his cookie decorating skills through workshops in homes and universities across the county. In addition, Copeland is available for private decorating parties in central Ohio.
Learn more and order from Plenty O’Cookies here.