By Robert Bloch, Contributor
Opening Day came on Friday, April 2nd, and like many Opening Days in the past, the weather seemed to be too cold and dreary for what was to transpire. No, I am not talking about Opening Day for Major League Baseball, which occurred on April 1. I am talking about an Opening Day of far more significance to many Charlotters.
Yes, the Opening Day of the Vermont Cookie Love creemee window, in North Ferrisburg. Opening Day at the Cookie Love creemee window had a different feeling this year, because the good cheer about the opening was dimmed somewhat by the uncertainty of the news that Cookie Love was for sale.
After fourteen years delighting people of all ages with wonderful cookies and creemees, co-founder and owner Paul Seyler has decided to put the business up for sale. As Paul puts it, “Despite the steady growth, success and fun we have had building Cookie Love, we just decided that it was time to do something else. I hope that a new buyer will find new ways to grow Cookie Love, perhaps franchising the concept to enable people in other parts of the country to enjoy some cookie love.”
Paul and his former partner, Suzanna Miller, started Cookie Love in 2007. Both were foodies of sorts from New York City. Paul had built a career in fine dining working in a variety of “front-of-the-house” jobs in many top restaurants, rising to become sommelier at some of New York’s finest establishments, including Union Street Café and Per Se, the New York outpost of Chef Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in California wine country. Suzanna’s passion was baking desserts, so, when they decamped for Vermont in 2007, something in and around food made sense. They started Cookie Love at the Shelburne Farmer’s Market selling baked cookies and frozen cookie dough. Over the next year or so they added numerous retail accounts, their own retail location on Route 7, and later, an online venture marketing gift boxes of cookies.
But the world changed most significantly for Charlotters in May, 2009 when Cookie Love opened its now-iconic creemee window at the North Ferrisburg store. Most people find the occasionally longish lines and premium pricing well worth it because the award winning creemee product is soooo good. The secret: more butterfat – 10% versus the average creemee’s 4%. That, plus the all-natural flavors and other ingredients and the smiling folks manning the window make for a great Vermont experience.
Paul and his sister Martha, who joined Cookie Love in 2013 when Suzanna stepped away, and is credited with more than doubling sales, intend to keep operating Cookie Love at the same high level, so there is no need to worry about the for-sale sign. Maybe it will prove to be a great opportunity for somebody local.