The Laguna Hills Owner of Sweet Party Treats and The Sweets Ranch

Rachele Sweetser juggles two unique businesses—a red-carpet cookie company called Sweets Party Treats and a mobile petting zoo known as The Sweets Ranch.
Photograph by Emily J. Davis

Can we talk cookies first?
I started doing cookies because I loved party planning, and that was one element that seemed doable as a business. I had made some cookies for a fundraiser for the families of fallen police officers, and this woman came up to me and said, “Would you be able to do cookies for an event for Stevie Wonder next week?” I thought she was blowing smoke, but sure enough! I’ve made cookies for the SAG Awards and for Golden Globes parties. And I had the privilege of being a contestant on Hulu’s new baking show, “Baker’s Dozen.”

Where do the animals come in?
Early last year, I was ready to really (grow) the cookie business. Not only had I done so many red carpets, we were in People magazine. I had a couple of horses, but I got my first miniature horse, Peanut, and I was planning to incorporate him into the red-carpet business. He could carry the cookies in a satchel. Then COVID-19 happened. My parents always said, “Are you going to sink or swim?” And I’m a swimmer.

How did you pivot?
We rent a little ranch near our home. I got more animals—goats, chickens, rabbits, a baby doll ram, and another miniature horse. And we started doing petting zoo parties. Our trailer looks like a woodie beach wagon. The animals come brushed, clean, and happy. The horses are usually dressed up. Buggy rides and cookie decorating are optional add-ons. The big difference with us is that we take care of these animals ourselves. Each one has a special story. Some were rescued. I’d love to eventually own my own space so I could rescue more animals and continue doing the parties as well.

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