LOCAL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT:
Cookie Company Born from a
Lifelong Love of Baking.
The Des Moines Register – January 14, 2014
Jay and Shelly Jacobson’s Ankeny, Iowa, business has grown thanks to cookie lovers across the country.
Jay’s love of baking started at an early age. On rainy days, his mom would have her six boys sit at the table with a bowl of cookie dough and spend the afternoon together baking.
“It would occupy us for a few hours, so we grew up with a love of making cookies. For the past 50 years, I’ve been perfecting my cookie recipes, so when my youngest daughter three years ago encouraged me to enter my cookies in the State Fair contest, I did,” Jacobson said.
Much to his delight, Jacobson won. His daughter told him he needed to sell the cookies next, because they were “too good to be baked just for us.”
“So we started baking cookies for a business and opened Nov. 12, 2013,” Jacobson said. “Our business has just exploded since we started.”
Read more about Jay's interview with The Register below.
Q: Who enjoys your cookies?
A: We have all types of customers, from business professionals for consumption during the workday or gift-giving to people hosting gatherings or just wanting a special treat for the family. We have a small portable oven for business clients who want to do an event at a retail store or remote location and have warm cookies available for their clients on-the-spot. We can bake them on-site, so they have cookies fresh out of the oven.
Q: Are your recipes constantly evolving?
A: We are always perfecting the recipe. We spent the 12 months prior to starting the business working on the recipes, getting them to where we wanted them to be. We also use local people to do cookie tastings for us. Then we had some people wanting a holiday cookie, so we came out with a cherry almond cookie that is just beautiful and amazing. My wife wanted a cookie with almonds, and I lived a number of years in Pella, so I created a white chocolate almond that has the taste of a Dutch letter and it’s another beautiful cookie with shaved almonds on the top that also makes a nice presentation. Another client’s favorite cookie is a snickerdoodle, so I did some research and came up with an absolutely fabulous recipe. When I delivered it to her, she said she knew we were there, because she could smell the cinnamon all the way down the hall.
Q: Do you deliver?
A: We bake and package orders in the same day and will ship priority to the people who order online, so they’re still getting a very fresh cookie. We’ve shipped orders to Boston, Baltimore, North Carolina, Seattle, Oregon, Tennessee and California. And when we send the cookies out of here, they are beautifully packaged. We deliver to the greater Des Moines area, out to Grimes/Granger, then Ames, Pleasant Hill/Altoona, and downtown Des Moines.
Q: What do customers say they like about your cookies?
A: When we walk through a building for a delivery and that waft of warm cookies fills the whole area, everyone asks for a business card. That’s what we think has rocketed us to success is because once people smell or taste the cookies, they want to order some for themselves. One customer placed six orders in one month for giving away as gifts. People just love them, and it’s been wonderful.
Q: Are your cookies available elsewhere?
A: We’re talking with some smaller restaurants and one restaurant chain that is interested in having our cookies available for their patrons. We want to make sure that we maintain the quality of our cookies before we grow, though. We have to bake them ourselves and get them delivered in a timely manner.
Q: What do you have planned for down the road?
A: We're constantly looking for new recipes to respond to our customers' requests. Typically, if there's a holiday coming up, you can expect that we're hard a work designing a cookie for it.
Food Nework Star, Alton Brown,
Loves Our Citrus Coconut Curry Cookies
We had the great honor to be able to provide Alton Brown and his crew cookies prior to his performance during his Edible Inevitable Tour in the Des Moines at the Civic Center.
Following the show, many asked me if Alton Brown had a favorite from our collection of cookies! We now have an answer: he loved the Citrus Coconut Curry Cookies best!
Cookies for the Troops
At Jay's Cookies, we're constantly looking for new ways to give back to the community. One of our most recent projects was a special cookie mailing for American military personnel stationed in Afghanistan.
Not only did we send over dozens of our delicious cookies, but we also sent them something practical - tube socks to keep them warm and dry!
A card, a letter, a note, a cookie and a pair of socks - anything is a wonderful gift for the troops to receive!
James Beard Foundation Member
The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.
The James Beard Foundation is a national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in New York City.