After receiving a head nod of approval from Oprah Winfrey, entrepreneur Tonya Council is now celebrating the opening of her own bake shop — Tonya’s Cookies & Bake Shop.

In 2021, her Pecan Crisp Cookie was featured as one of “Oprah’s Favorite Things,” the News & Observer reports.


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What’s more, Council has been whipping up cookies for nearly a decade.

“Fashioning my cookies from my grandmother’s famous pecan pies, I created Tonya Cookie’s Pecan Crisps. These homemade cookies made with locally-sourced eggs and pecans put a little taste of the South in your mouth,” she wrote on LinkedIn. “I started out selling my cookies at grandma’s restaurant in the dessert case and eventually I sold them at culinary and trade shows. The orders for these sweet treats were in such demand I had to add some additional flavored cookies to the line.”

Council’s product offerings include Peppermint Chocolate Pecan Crisps, Sweet Potato Cornmeal Muffins, Red Velvet Babycake, and Candied Bacon Donuts, which can be purchased from her website and her brand new bakery.

According to News & Observer, Tonya’s Cookies & Bake Shop opened its doors in Chapel Hill, NC on Nov. 17, 2023. The 1,200-square-foot bake shop is now home to their signature cookies, pies, and cakes. What’s more, she plans on adding a cafe that will feature menu items such as soups and sandwiches.

The opening is near and dear to Council as it builds on the work of her grandmother as she previously owned a Southern restaurant in Chapel Hill.


“Being from Chapel Hill, my family has always been really big in the community here,” Council told News & Observer. “I wanted to open the shop where I grew up. Chapel Hill has seen a lot of growth and we have a lot of customers in Chapel Hill. I decided it was time to bring it back home.”