Cookies & Conversations. Such a sweet and novel idea. Have a cookie. Have a conversation. Talk about life, about movies, about social justice, about reform. Talking about the future, the past, the present and endless possibilities as a way to find connection in this highly disconnected world. I created this company to combine two of my most favorite things. Cookies and conversation. But not just those topical conversations, I mean those conversations that you have when you're comfortable enough to be vulnerable, comfortable enough to get into the weeds, to be weird and sometimes have very different opinions.
I started Cookies & Conversations in a bookshop located in Chicago's River West Neighborhood, at the encouragement of is proprietress. You know the place. Dripping in the beauty and majesty of black excellence, pumping love, light, art, and literature into the hearts and minds of local Chicago kids. Blazing a new trail, a trail that can only be created by a woman who refuses to be labeled, bothered, or constrained by anyones definition of a box, including her own. In the days I spent at a workstation in the months before Covid-19 changed life as we know it, I found something I didn't know I was missing. At this point In my life I can't even begin to describe the gratitude, appreciation, and love I have for Dani, Semicolon, and the awesome magic of the people who flow in and out of its doors.
I feel a new sense of things this year, May of 2021. Cookies & Conversations was something that I had a hard time finding future vision for. There were things about it I hadn't been very clear on. I have begun to realize that what I initially created wasn't centered on what drives me, and that is a problem. Yes business does need to make a profit but how do you stay creative and true to self when you're focused only on your bottom line? As much as I love my Conversation boxes, I really do love baking more. I love the ability to play with flavors and try new things. I liked the idea of the mixes because they were easy to create and more cost effective, but I found I love the experience of in sharing so much more. And its hard to walk around with a heavy box of mix and chocolates on a hot day. A majority of my earning last year came from my in person events where I met many of you. The cookie boxes did alright but it was the cookies I had at my booth that sold. They are what now lives in Crema Shop in Chicago's uptown neighborhood.
So what does this all mean? The things that small businesses can easily do because of their size. They can reinvent. They can shift, they can change. And that's what I'm doing. The boxes will for sure still be available, but Cookie boxes with conversation cards are going to be a new feature on the website. They'll also be highly localized as well. Shipping costs have been so expensive. And then when you get into food laws from state to state it becomes a lot of work and potential liability I'm still too small to dive into. So I'm going back to being small. Being local. Being Chicago. Working on getting other things in place so that you can find Cookies & Conversations in a variety of small businesses. Featuring the small cookie kits as well as Cookie Boxes with lots of Goodies. And can I just say how much fun I have creating new flavors???
I'm so excited to share with you all what is happening next. Also partnering with thepopuppicnic.co in Chicago to supply delicious individually wrapped cookies in half dozen and dozen sized boxes. Standard and Premium selections. Cookies & Conversations is a labor of love and chocolate and the future is bright. I am not sure if Cookies can bring on world peace, racial justice and equity, eradicate systemic issues, poverty, hunger, end the pandemic, and cause the global populous to look at each other as humans worthy of life no matter how they identify... I am not sure, but while we're fighting for a better world (be it breaking the institutional systems completely or finding ways to fix them), there will be cookies there with conversations on what does a brighter future look like to my fellow Cookie Monsters. Be safe, share some love, and eat some cookies damnit!