A high end cookie store is not really what you expect when strolling through the middle of The Liberties but Jenny and Elaine from The Dublin Cookie Co bucked any cookie-stores-in-the-liberties trends there were and after two years of doing the market circuit they opened their own bricks ‘n’ mortar outlet on Thomas Street where they hand-make their undeniably delicious cookies daily and flog them to curious locals and passer-bys.
We asked Elaine from The DCC how it all came together.
Find out more about The Dublin Cookie Co. on their website.
Tell us a bit about you guys What are your backgrounds and how did you end up opening a Cookie Shop
Jenny and I come from very different backgrounds. Jenny grew in a Boston suburb called Melrose. She went onto study Biology and sustainable development in college (St. Michael’s College Vermont and Boston University) before taking her first job running a resort hotel in the British Virgin Islands. She then went on to work in Harvard University running events. In 2008 she moved to Ireland and has worked in food and events here ever since. Jenny has always baked as a hobby and was known by friends and family alike for her famous cookies.
I grew up on a dairy and beef farm in Kilmichael, Co. Cork. I studied Software Development, Cognitive Science and Business Management (Cork Institute of Technology, University College Dublin and The Irish Management Institute) and worked predominantly in education: lecturing, consulting, programme design and education management.
We both really wanted to work together and build our own company. Food was the obvious choice as we both have a passion for high quality food. Once we had decided on food, cookies just made the most sense – Jenny was particularly good at making them and coming up with recipes and we felt there was a gap in Ireland for high quality cookies.
What was it about cookies? How does your approach differ from others?
Firstly, we are cookie specialists. We are 100% focused on all things cookies from cookie milk to cookie dough, ice-cream cookie sandwiches, savoury cookies to the plain old classic chocolate chip. We love the idea of specialising in cookies but making them exciting and doing interesting things with them. We love coming up with new recipes and ideas and re-inventing cookies like the banoffee cookie sandwich or the savoury cheddar and thyme cookie. Secondly, we bake American style cookies – soft and chewy and not hard and crispy like a lot of the cookies out there.
What challenges did you face getting established? What do you wish you knew before starting?
One of our main challenges is changing customer expectations on cookies. People generally expect cookies to be large, biscuit-like, crunchy and have lots of flour with a couple of chocolate chips in them. They associate cookies with children and do not think cookies are for adults. They do not expect a gourmet experience, unusual flavours or soft, chewy cookies. Once we convert people to a different way of thinking – that cookies can be a taste sensation, that freshly baked cookies are one of the most amazing things you can taste, that a cookie is so much more than chocolate chip and for adults too – then, they get it.
What can we expect from you in the future?
We are going to carry on the cookie dream and keep opening new shops. We are also re-launching a range of award-winning cookie dough throughout Ireland in the next year. This will mean people all over the country will be able to experience the joy of freshly baked cookies in their own kitchen.
Recommend 3 great Irish or international independent stores
The first one is a combination of so many amazing independent stores – The English Market in Cork: We love to drop in here anytime we are back in Cork.
Secondly, there’s a fabulous new store in Dublin called Lotts and Co that is well worth a visit:
Finally, Sweeney O’ Rourke on Pearse Street – for all your kitchen and baking needs. The staff in this shop are fantastic and they carry some great kitchen equipment.
This article has been produced in association with The Locals