Cookies, Hell Yeah!
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If you like freshly baked cookies, then you’ve come to the right place!
Home made baked goods from Cookies, Hell Yeah!
The philosophy is simple…baking requires following a recipe and adding in love. Some cookbooks give pastry-school guidelines, some help with simple and easy recipes. Regardless of how difficult the recipe is or even if you are baking pre-made cookie dough the thing that separates the good and the evil is the care taken when doing the baking.
It’s like the love of parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Unconditional and in a category all it’s own. Meredith, founder and baker of Cookies, Hell Yeah, learned it all at once. As a child, memories of riding big wheels and climbing trees are intertwined with baking cookies, pies, cakes, cinnamon rolls and fig bars. All from scratch, and all under the skillful watch of the generations that came before her.
“I was a little kid. Some of my first memories are of watching my great-grandmother’s hands delicately handling dough. I remember it started off with simple tasks for me – measuring cups of flour or following the timer as it ticked down. I wasn’t asked to participate. It was just what you did when someone was in the kitchen. Being there, working with my grandmothers or mom or great-grandma was something I looked forward to. I loved it. I didn’t know it then, but the indescribable bond forged at the countertops back then is what guides me through every cookie I make now.”
Entering the school years there was less time to tiptoe around the kitchen as a cake rose in the oven. Baking treats became reserved for the special occasions – birthdays, holidays, when relatives were in-town. But the cookie education didn’t stop for Meredith. She joined the Girl Scouts and sold cookies every year.
“I lucky to be the only Girl Scout in my neighborhood and at my dad’s office. Selling 500 boxes was easy, selling 1000 was the challenge.”
And she took the challenge head on.
“I really worked at up-selling those pre-orders,” Meredith laughs. “The first time I sold 1000 boxes I didn’t know that there were extra perks. I got to attend a special lunch and one year was awarded a week-long stay at Girl Scout camp. Every year I became more confident in selling and in myself. I am forever grateful for having to opportunity to earn that confidence at such an early age.
When I started high school there were younger girls doing the rounds. I thought about not trying as hard to sell but it was completely against my nature. I was determined to keep reaching out. So I gathered all the confidence I could find and started asking my friends if they wanted to order. I thought I would be laughed at. It was pretty uncool to be a scout. I held my head high and ended up with friends approaching me every year for cookies.”
Sales leveled out to normal quantities and Meredith soon found herself in a new role with the annual sales. She became her troop’s cookie manager and in charge of inventory, finances and scheduling weekend sales outside the local grocery store. “Managing the sales was another skill set that I didn’t expect to gain from the experience.”
And her time with Girl Scout cookies became just that – an unforgettable experience.
After college, Meredith veered away from cookies and worked in the entertainment industry. But with her desire to always attract the positive and an unquenchable pursuit for knowledge, she doesn’t see it as a detour.
“I saw all the amazing gifts that came through to the artists and executives. You could always tell those packages were handled with care and people loved them.”
Then the horrific events of September 11, 2001 happened and with the entertainment industry on hold, Meredith found herself unemployed and nothing but time on her hands. She went back to what was always a part of her – baking.
“That Christmas I was broke and bored. There was a gingerbread cookie mix on sale at the store. I grabbed it and made gingerbread snowflake cookies for presents that year. I had so much fun baking and when the following Christmas rolled around I didn’t think twice about making cookies again.”
At first it was a batch or two, and then it grew to dozens of batches of cookies for gifts every year. The list of people receiving Christmas cookies got into the double digits and Meredith’s kitchen soon became a factory. And just to challenge herself, she started creating her own recipes and eventually building her own gingerbread houses. And then one day a friend said, “You should sell your cookies!”
“I had gotten baking my Christmas cookies down to a science and I started baking all year round. But selling my cookies hadn’t occurred to me. It fulfilled me to make something from scratch with my own hands, give them to loving homes and watch satisfaction wash over people with every bite. The love returned to me, it was all the ‘payment.’ I needed.”
More people echoed the sentiment of taking her cookies to the masses and, so, Meredith decided to go for it. In 2010 she started selling under the guise of “Cookies, Hell Yeah.” And the name says it all. Cookies at their perfection and filled with that ingredient you can’t buy at the store – love. Hell Yeah!
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