Whether its the colors that match the turning of the leaves or the quirky characters of Halloween, this is a fun and festive time of year for both you and your customers. Halloween is a great source of inspiration and creativity...especially when it comes to finding new ways to use the items you already have.

Merritt's Bakery, Tulsa, OK

Cookies mean big business at Merritt’s Bakery, which has four retail locations in Tulsa, OK. Cookies account for up to 20% of Merritt’s bakery sales and can triple during big holidays like Halloween and Christmas.

This Halloween, Merritt’s is showcasing new designs of Halloween cookies in shapes including Frankenstein, bats and spiders. The trick is Merritt’s uses standard cutout shapes from its automated cookie line to invent new cookie creations. An upside-down wedding cake cutout becomes a Frankenstein; an angel turns into a bat cookie for Halloween.

“Everything we do with cookies is automated, even our French macarons,” owner Larry Merritt says. “We’ll run thousands of dozens of cookies at a time. We make 15 kinds of cookies, 20 during Christmas. If anything, we’d like to have more cookies. Our cookie business is doing very well.”

Community Bakery, Little Rock, AR

It doesn't take a huge investment to create an eye-catching display, especially at Halloween time. At Community Bakery, a special case is dedicated to seasonal display cakes. This Halloween, the bakery's decorators accessorized their ghoulish cakes with decorating kits and items found in places such as dollar stores.

Community Bakery's pastry chef, whose specialty is chocolate, gets the opportunity to strut her stuff with fall foliage scenes made completely from chocolate. This scene is placed front-and-center in the bakery's pastry case in the center of the shop, between the bakery and cafe counters.