Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery was recently able to talk to Cindy Kruse, founder and owner of Cindy Lou's Cookies, on the appeal of boutique bakeries, ecommerce, and some cookie trends. Cindy Lou's Cookies opened its first New York outpost on October 21, 2021, at Citizens New York, the culinary market at Manhattan West.
Liz Parker: What is the current appeal of upscale, boutique cookie bakeries?
Cindy Kruse: I believe cookies are in a class of their own when it comes to "appeal.” Now more than ever, people are looking for comfort and feel-good food, and nothing is more comforting to me than a fresh baked, delicious cookie. In recent years, the simple cookie has been taken to the next level with the way bakers are reinventing it.
LP: How much of your business is from your retail footprint, and how much of it is from ecommerce?
CK: We used to do a lot of wholesale before COVID19; [it was] 85 percent of our business, but now we only focus on retail, with only about 10 percent being ecommerce. That setup is by choice and will probably change in the future.
LP: How do you address quality control for shipped products?
CK: If a customer is not happy with what they received for whatever reason, we immediately give them credit for their purchase and offer to send another order on us.
LP: What are some cookie trends right now and/or some that will be popular in 2022?
CK: I am sorry to say that I am not up on the trends as of late; I am not a trendy kind of girl and I love myself a simple cookie. Something that I believe will hold true in 2022 is that people love the classics and tend to gravitate to what they are familiar with, no matter what the current trends are. That being said, I think people are more aware of what a good cookie should be and will expect a better-quality product.
LP: What are some of your most popular products?
CK: Although we do a few other items besides cookies, our focus is our "big old fashioned seriously delicious" cookies. Out of the 20 flavor cookies that we bake daily, the chocolate chip is our most popular product. The classic flavors—peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, sugar, and white chocolate macadamia—are very popular as well.