Colorful macarons, spongy cupcakes, variously flavored chocolates, and soft-serve ice cream – all of these sweet delicacies were found at the first annual Los Angeles Cookie Con & Sweets Show. Held Jan. 25 at the Pasadena Convention Center, this event not only gave out generous free samples but also a chance for everyone to meet YouTube baking stars, watch demos from the stars themselves, and try out a few classes to enhance one’s baking skills.
The doors to the convention opened at 10 a.m. and a long line of eager con-goers had already formed, wrapping around the block. Someone who worked at the convention made an announcement that they oversold tickets and had to regulate the number of people leaving and going inside the convention. A few people who came out told the people in line their opinion about the event – that it was small and there was not a lot to see – but that did not stop dedicated dessert lovers from going inside.
Once inside, a wristband was given to those who bought the general admission ticket while VIP ticket holders were given a different colored wristband. Through the doors to the actual convention, a crowd of people hovered in front of vendors and everyone had to maneuver their way through. There were many opportunities for people to stuff their faces with desserts, as there were many exhibitors who eagerly handed con-goers free food. There was also an array of photo-worthy sweet treat displays that were too pretty to eat, although they were mouthwatering to look at. These desserts all had one common theme, Valentine’s Day, perfect timing for the upcoming holiday.
Some of the samples that were given out were mini cupcakes, candy apples, fruit juice or coffee, donuts, ice cream, and chunks of cookies. A few exhibitors did not sell their products but did give out their business cards for anyone who was interested in ordering or buying from their store. On the other hand, there were exhibitors who gave out free samples and also had their food products for anyone who really wanted to buy it. Notable exhibitors and booths were Thirteen Apples, Drive Me Cookie, Choctal, Cupcake Kissis, DK’s Donuts, and Les Beaux Chocolats/Velvet Rope Bake Shop.
Located in the back center of the exhibit hall was the main stage where con-goers could sit and watch a baking demonstration, interact with the stars of baking YouTube channels, and listen to Ron Ben-Israel, star of Food Network’s “Sweet Genius” and one of the world’s most famous cake artists, talk about the process of designing a luxury wedding cake. More than that, fans could meet and greet their favorite stars and get their autographs.
VIP ticket holders had the added perk of their own lounge where they could get a massage, sip some wine, and receive premium samples from the convention’s sponsors. The sponsors included Keurig, Jen & Joe’s Cookie Dough, Whole Foods Market, Nesquik, and Amoretti.
Something else con-goers could find at the event were decoration tools that could be essential for one’s baking necessities. If eating sweets was not on the agenda, then shopping definitely was.
In short, the convention was fairly small and one round through the exhibit hall could be accomplished in less than an hour. However, this was the convention’s first year and it was stated that there would be a 2016 LA Cookie Con & Sweets Show. So for those who missed out on the event this year, worry not because it will come back next year with more treats and hopefully a bigger venue.