Mimi Kurz urges you to move beyond Chips Ahoy! (Photo: krypstilledge.com)
The keys to maintaining a healthy figure are exercise, a good diet, and lots of cookies … that last part is something I picked up on recently while sitting between two petite, athletic snowboarders on the verge of opening Mammoth’s first cookie bar.
The idea is simple. “It’s like Cold Stone for cookies,” explained cookie baker and co-owner Mimi Kurz. “You don’t have to settle for standard cookies anymore.” At Mimi’s Cookie Bar, you get to create your own.
“I was brought up with the mindset that if you go somewhere, you bring something,” Kurz explained. “So I started bringing cookies, often my dad’s favorite, coconut chocolate chip (the cookie that started it all) to barbecues and parties.”
Her friends loved the tasty treats and told her she should sell them. So in November 2009 the wheels started turning, and by September 2010, Mimi’s Cookie Bar was selling cookies online at www.mimiscookiebar.com. The Mammoth store, opening Sept. 2 next to Salsa’s on Old Mammoth Road, will be the first storefront for the operation. The website will continue to run as well.
How it’s going to work: “Online the minimum order is three dozen cookies because we don’t want to waste anything when we make a batch,” Kurz explained. But in the store there will be other options. Three cookies of the day will be offered and customers can purchase however many they want, be it one or 20. These cookies will be pre-made and waiting for hungry cookie lovers to just stop in and pick up.
Another option will be the daily dough. Come in each day and see what dough is waiting for your cookie creation. This is the chance for those who love fresh, hot cookies right out of the oven to get their fix. Choose up to three ingredients to add to the daily dough and make a custom cookie. Wait approximately 7 and a half minutes (the time it takes to bake a cookie in Mammoth, according to Kurz), and voila! You get a handful of tasty cookies baked to order.
“We limit the number of items that you can add to a cookie to three in order to get the full flavor into the cookie,” Kurz explained. But don’t worry; those three ingredients are really packed into each mouthful. “You never get a bite of just dough with our cookies … I hate cookies like that.” You can also order larger quantities of cookies at the store.
A little help from her friends
Kurz, who grew up snowboarding competitively, originally moved to Mammoth when she first arrived in California from Chicago. She left the ski town about seven years ago to take a job in Southern California with Roxy, but recently, her boyfriend and co-owner of the cookie bar, Delaney Council, landed a job in the marketing department at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. So it was back to Mammoth for Kurz.
Upon arriving, she hooked up with friends and pro athletes, Kimmy Fasani and Chris Benchetler, who were looking for a good investment and found Kurz to be the perfect fit.
“Chris and I have a crazy sweet tooth,” Fasani explained of herself and her fiancé. “We like dessert after every meal.” But as athletes, they were looking for a unique, healthy option in Mammoth. Kurz’s organic and all natural, zero preservative approach to baking turned out to be the answer.
“When Mimi approached us, a light bulb went off,” Fasani said, and she and Benchetler became co-owners with Kurz and Council.
During the years when the cookie bar was taking shape, Kurz asked other friends from the snowboard industry to create signature cookies as a way to market the business.
“Our market is everyone, I’m just using the people I know [as the faces],” Kurz explained, likening it to the way Gatorade sponsors athletes, but with food.
“It’s [the Friends signature cookie page on the website] also a place to get inspired with ideas for your own cookies; a good starter,” she added.
For example, Jack Mitrani’s PB and J-ack, or Pat Lynch’s Caramel Patted Coconut Chocolate Chip could be just what you need to kick start your taste buds and help you formulate your own cookie creation.
Open Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., and Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m. beginning Sept. 2, Mimi’s will also serve frozen yogurt (all of the cookie ingredients can be transferred into a yogurt flavor), black coffee, tea, milk and almond milk. Wi-Fi will also be available.