A new cookie subscription service that delivers fresh handmade treats is on the rise on Bainbridge Island—and it’s environmentally conscious.
Cookie Cafe, a small-batch bakery creating artisan made-from-scratch cookies and pretzels, is the business idea of husband-and-wife bakers Valerie and Evan Cummins. The two Bainbridge High School graduates from the class of 2019 have a passion for making “wholesome, organic bakes with high-quality, premium ingredients.”
They offer a variety of cookie flavors and pretzels that are delivered twice a month on the day of baking to ensure their freshness. Orders are placed online and vary depending on selections and amounts of baked goods ordered.
Cummins has always loved baking and fondly remembers doing it with her oldest sister Emily when they grew up in Juneau, Alaska. “I knew after I graduated from BHS that I wanted to be a baker.”
The couple was inspired to start their business because they saw a lack of local high-quality baked goods that were fresh and organic.
“It’s difficult to find a tasty cookie free from inflammatory oils, chemical additives, artificial dyes, soy byproducts, GMO’s and preservatives. At Cookie Cafe, our cookies are free of all these and made fresh with organic and classical ingredients only, and full of love,” Cummins said.
Another reason the duo turned to baking is because they are eschewing mono-cropped, GMO wheat flour. They aim to set the standard for sustainable baking with the well-being of people and the planet in mind. They are also concerned with the impact that modern agriculture practices have on native rabbits.
“Their burrows are churned up and their habitat destroyed by the massive agricultural machines in use today. This churning of the soil and constant mono-cropping wreaks havoc on soil health and is a danger for future food production, as well as not being economically sustainable for farmers who make very small margins off of GMO wheat,” Cummins said.
The couple has four rabbits running in their home, and the company logo features their pet, Jay, a Holland Lop rabbit known for big floppy ears.
Though they don’t have a commercial bakery, their products are made at various commercial kitchens on BI and are operating as a “ghost bakery” at the moment. They bake more than 20 batches per month, with most of their sales at private and public events such as BI Museum of Art’s recent 10th-anniversary party and for a Halloween frightening film night at the Lynwood Theatre.
Cookie Cafe is focused exclusively on BI, but could expand later. “I’d like to plant strong roots in the community I grew up in before considering spreading out further,” said Cummins, who wants to ensure that everything they sell is the best. “We personally inspect and taste the goods we’re putting out. In this early stage of Cookie Cafe, I believe it’s important to specialize and to provide limited amounts of perfection as opposed to loads of good or OK things.”
As a result, “We can guarantee that you’ll feel and taste the difference switching away from store-bought, production-line cookies. We even make it easy by delivering it to one’s door.”