"Today me will live in the moment... unless it's unpleasant, in which case me will eat a cookie."
- Cookie Monster
Since starting the Get to Know Frisco blog series, we've received a few requests here and there for different businesses to be featured. Hands down, the most requests we've gotten have been for the Cookie Society. So, to oblige #iHeartFrisco readers (and my love for all things yummy and sweet), we sat down (social distancing style) with owners Marissa and Jeff Allen to chat about opening a business in the middle of a global pandemic, what their favorite cookie flavors are and what's next for this popular sweet spot in Frisco.
How did you get the idea to start Cookie Society?
Marissa: A few years ago, Jeff was playing in the NFL down in Houston. We took a trip to New York City in the off season and stopped at Lavaine Bakery. We stood in line thinking, “I can’t believe we’re standing in line for cookies.” The cookie wasn’t my ultimate cookie. It was a little too thick and cakey. So I thought, I want to see what I can do, and then I just became obsessed with creating the best cookie possible. I was sending all my experiments to the locker room, so Jeff was taking dozens of cookies up there every single week, and his teammates were reporting back on what they liked, to the point where the coach said, “you’ve got to stop sending these!” One day, Jeff called saying his teammate wanted to buy some cookies and asked how much they cost.
Fast forward, I started to wonder if I could make a business out of this. We moved back to DFW – I grew up in Plano, and Jeff’s mom and sister moved down here about one year before we made that decision. We just kind of ended up looking at homes in Frisco while we were down here visiting them, and within six months we were living here. We put our kids in school, I got a lease at a commercial kitchen in Plano, then started making and selling cookies online. Things blossomed, we started doing pop-ups and going to farmers’ markets – wherever I could go to get someone to just try a cookie. I knew if I could get people to at least sample, they would come back for more. It feels sudden, but we’ve been in business for three years. Then we opened the storefront in the middle of a pandemic and now we’re here.
Why did you choose Frisco for the location of your storefront?
Marissa: We live here, our kids go to school here and and I was very adamant about staying close to home. This is our community – we’ve made friends with people at the surrounding businesses. I was scared and nervous that no one would walk through the door. The owners at Frisco Diner reassured us that people would come and the community is supportive here.
Was it your plan to grow and become as popular as you have in such a short amount of time and how are you guys dealing with that?
Jeff: Oh, yes. I manage our social media. We have a great product, but a great product doesn’t matter if no one knows about it. Our goal is to get our cookies into as many people’s hands as possible. We started out online and a lot of our customer base was in Chicago and Kansas City, but then we needed to focus on Frisco because it’s our home. We started going to pop-ups at West Elm, Nordstrom, the farmers’ market, holiday markets, food festivals – we’ve done everything possible all over DFW just so folks know who we were.
What are each of your favorite flavors at Cookie Society?
Jeff: Banana Pudding. No hesitation. That’s what differentiated us. Anyone can make a chocolate chip cookie, but when Marissa made the banana cookie and it tasted just like banana pudding, I said, “you can make anything.”
Marissa: Sweet potato pie cookie topped with a brown butter glaze.
Jeff: She’s probably tried 70 flavors. We’ve been rotating the menu weekly and just trying to figure out a good balance of what people want and what will stay.
Do you have any new menu items we should be on the lookout for?
Marissa: We have different bars – right now we have lemon bars – we’ve had to put a limit on lemon bars because people would come in trying to buy all of them, so I’m very hesitant to take the lemon bar off the menu. We also have a chess pie bar – a chocolate tart with custard over a shortbread crust. We have a pecan pie bar – my dad is obsessed with those – so we have those coming, and we want to try a few variations of brownies. As far as cookies go, I know s’mores is about to come on the menu, key lime will be back, and we do cinnamon rolls the third Sunday of every month.
Where do you get your inspiration for new flavors?
Jeff: Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night from a dream – I had a dream about banana pudding.
Marissa: Inspiration can really come from anywhere. Dreams, family, just thinking off the wall.
Jeff: Sometimes you just think of something that’s impossible to make into a cookie. Some things work and some things don’t. Marissa wants everything to be the best quality, so even if a new cookie tastes good, if it’s not perfect she’ll wait – even if it takes a year or two – until it’s perfect in her eyes.
What’s the best thing you’ve ever eaten and where was it?
Marissa: It might be a burger from Killen’s, just outside of Houston. I also love to eat in Chicago.
Jeff: A burger from Au Cheval in Chicago.
When someone eats one of your cookies or bars, what experience do you want them to leave with?
Marissa: First and foremost, that they had a good experience. That they came in, were greeted, found something they like, and leave thinking they’ve never had a cookie like that before. Everyone gets a chocolate chip cookie, but I always encourage people to get at least one other new thing because that could be the one you fall in love with. It’s the other cookies you’ll tell other people about.
Jeff: I just would like for people to tell their friends about us when they leave.
Learn more about Cookie Society and order online at cookiesociety.com. Cookie Society is located at 9320 Dallas Pkwy, Suite 160 and is open Wednesday & Thursday, 11am-4pm; Friday - Saturday, 11am-6pm and Sunday, 12pm-5pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday.