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🍪💖 Cookies with a Purpose Baked In

Contributor: Jamie Richardson


Cara’s Cookie Company owners Jennifer and Tom Hamilton didn’t start out as bakers, but their popular store is serving up delicious baked goods while also supporting their charity, Cara’s Purpose.

  • Located in the bustling Gibson Mill Market food hall, Cara’s HUGE cookies are putting smiles on their customers’ faces, especially their best-selling chocolate chip and their toffee coffee cookie, which is a partnership with their neighbor at the market, Defined Coffee.

🧈 The newest yummy addition to their menu is the butter board, which Jennifer says came from a TikTok trend.

  •  The bread-and-butter snack board consists of Jennifer’s handmade butter topped with sprinkles of truffle salt, pistachios, and cranberries. Add a drizzle of honey and three types of artisan bread and you have a butter board!

Providing a Ripple of Hope to Others

In 2018, while pregnant with their baby, Cara, Jennifer and Tom were told their daughter would be born with a terminal brain tumor. They spent 50 days together as a family before Cara passed away. In lieu of flowers, they wanted people to donate to a charity, but there was not one that aligned with what they were looking to support. So, they created their own and named it Cara’s Purpose, which offers support and resources to families who have been given a terminal diagnosis for their unborn child.

In 2018, Cara’s Purpose held its first fundraiser and Jennifer baked cookies to give to all the donors. When COVID hit, they couldn’t hold in-person fundraisers anymore and their friend Barrett Dobbs, owner of Johnny Rogers BBQ, told them about a space available in Gibson Mill Market. It was then they decided to move forward with Cara’s Cookie Company.

  • “We felt we needed to try and start a business that not only could thrive and make people happy, but also support the charity and its little ripple of hope for others.” They opened Cara’s Cookie Company on September 26, 2022.

Jennifer is not a baker by trade, but she had lots of experience baking for her kids’ classroom and birthday parties. Jennifer and Tom already had three older children before having Cara (Jacob, Emily, and Andre), and now also have twin boys, Dax and Cooper.

  • She likes to play around with recipes and make adjustments as needed. She browns her own handmade butter to add extra flavor and makes her vanilla from scratch.

When asked how she does it all…run a business, take care of preschool-aged kids, and support other families through Cara’s Purpose…she replied, “We don’t do it on our own. Family, friends, and neighbors have all helped out to make this happen.”

What Customers Are Saying…

We know their popularity will continue to grow as more people discover the Gibson Mill Market, but the word is already out about the goodies you can find at Cara’s Cookie Company.

  • “Ordered the gingerbread oatmeal whiskey creme pies and OH MY GOODNESS! This cookie is what you hope an adult oatmeal creme pie would taste like. So good, big enough to share, and more than worth the price! Can’t wait to try more.” – Leslie Breedlove via Facebook

  • “Who makes a butter board? This place! What a delicious idea for those of us who enjoy a little bread with our butter. Spiced up with seasoning and cranberries, the butter spread (like frosting on a tray) is served with honey to drizzle over it, and then you can spread it as thick or thin as you like on fresh bread. Served with a smile this place is amazing. I decided to take home a chocolate chip, caramel, and pretzel cookie. It is so big I will be munching on it for days!” – Louanne Stanton via Facebook

Photo credit: Louanne Stanton via Facebook

Cara’s Purpose Serving Up Love for Families

To date, Cara’s Purpose has helped over 50 families by offering emotional support as well as providing gift boxes to Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center (CMC Main) for families in crisis at the hospital.

  • Jennifer says, “We are here to be a resource and to help take something off these families’ plates.” Her neighbor, friend, and board member of Cara’s Purpose, Roger added, “but we can also put something sweet on their plates 😉.”

📅 Cara’s Purpose charity will be the Round Up Program through Cabarrus Brewing Company during the month of April! For the entire month, guests who visit CBC will have the option to round up their transactions, with those additional funds going to benefit Cara’s Purpose.

You can also donate to Cara’s Purpose online, and be sure to follow their Cara’s Cookie Company Instagram and Facebook pages to see what delicious morsels they will be baking up next!


Planning to visit? Tell ’em Cabarrus Weekly sent ya!