Houston bakery Dessert Gallery is honoring notable Black Houstonians with a cookie campaign.
Launched February 1 for Black History Month, the cafe’s new line of decorated butter cookies — decorated with royal icing — is celebrating changemakers like Texas congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, renowned civil rights activist Rev. Bill Lawson, KHOU’s “Great Day Houston” host Deborah Duncan, and Olympian Simone Biles.
The bakery is also working on a cookie to commemorate Gertrude Jane Holliday Stone, a local Houstonian and civil rights activist who refused to give up her seat on a train in 1955 — the same year that Rosa Parks did the same in Alabama in protest of discrimination against Black people in America.
Stone, who was traveling back home to Houston from Fisk University in Nashville, also went on to launch Houston’s Museum of African American Culture. Her cookie, fittingly, is shaped like a train. Jackson Lee’s cookie takes the form of a gavel, and Lawson’s a white iced cross. Duncan’s features a television, and Biles, appropriately, features a gold medal.
Dessert Gallery founder and CEO Sara Brook said the bakery has talented artists in the back of their shop working on the designs because they want them to be “befitting” of the people they’re honoring.
The cookie campaign builds off of a similar project the bakery did last year, honoring Black Houstonians like Mayor Sylvester Turner, ballet dancer Lauren Anderson, NASA astronaut and physicist Ronald McNair, veteran journalist Linda Lorelle, and international pop star Beyoncé.
“We wanted to make a bigger deal out of [Black History Month], and ... it seemed to really touch people, our community, and our customers. We wanted to build on that success and acknowledge more people,” Brook said. “It’s been an awesome project, and there’s so much rich history in Houston.”
The dessert shop will donate 10 percent of proceeds earned from the cookies to The Ensemble Theatre a historic theater in Midtown that was created to preserve African American artistic expression.