Doctor By Day runs the McLean bakery business on the side


MCLEAN, VA — By day, Leslie Hao is a head and neck surgeon. At night, Hao bakes cookies for his home business in McLean.

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, Hao was fired because her office closed for a few months. With that extra time at home, Hao worked on cookie decorating and recipes. From there, KLookies was born.

KLookies is a company offering bespoke vanilla butter cookies to go. Her company makes cookies for all kinds of occasions and even seasonal options.

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Here is more information about KLookies:

During lockdown, my daughter Kelsie and I took online cookie decorating classes. I’m a board certified head and neck surgeon, but I’ve always loved creative arts and baking. One class and I was hooked! The combination of precise handwork and artistry to create deliciously beautiful cookies fits me like a glove.

My family and friends kept saying “you really should sell them!” We created our Instagram page to document “Kelsie and Leslie’s cookies” (the name “KLookies” was his idea) just to document our progress (we were so proud of our first KLookies!😂). Strangers started asking us if we had sold them. And I thought “I could really sell them!”

Now that I am an empty nest, I have more time and energy. So here I am, Dr. Leslie Hao during the day (and some evenings and weekends…) and KLookies LLC at night, I’m having a blast!

What does your company offer?

Custom decorated vanilla butter cookies for all occasions and selected seasonal offers.

What is your most popular product or service?

I love designing elaborate cookie sets for dessert tables, but people seem to really enjoy using my cookies for party favors and goody bags.

What do you like best about the community in which your business is located?

My neighbors in McLean are extremely supportive of each other and our local small businesses. And we all seem to like good food!

What kind of impact has the COVID-19 pandemic had on businesses?

As a practicing physician, my practice closed for a few months. I was actually on leave. During this time, I took the opportunity to hone my cookie decorating skills and tweak some recipes and KLookies was born!

Do you have any favorite memories in the business?

I love it when my family gets involved. My daughter has an amazing sense of humor and a great artistic eye, so I often submit design ideas to her. Last year I created replica car cookies to give away at an auction to benefit a road safety course for teens and my husband, a car enthusiast, pointed out the important details to include in each model. And my boys are very good taste testers!

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