A Cochrane woman has parlayed her love of baking cookies into a lucrative business that’s even attracted the attention of a New York Times journalist.
Jacqueline Day, 44, said she’s been baking cookies since she was tall enough to reach the kitchen counter, and she always knew that somehow this passion of hers would become a career.
“Basically I spent most of my adult life waiting for a sign,” she said. “I knew I wanted to work with food, but I wasn’t interested in catering or working in restaurants.”
By 2014, Day says she’d become passionate about the importance of organic farming.
“Conventional farming is practically killing us,” she said. “It’s ruining the soil, and for years I’ve been watching my family and friends develop allergies.”
Day said this realization – as well as being laid off from her day job – helped to spur her decision to develop delicious, organic cookie recipes and make a business of it.
“This was the sign I’d been waiting for,” she said. “The organic cookies that were already out there didn’t contain butter. It hit me like a jolt, so I decided to change that.” Thus Real Treat Kitchen was born.
In a news article last Christmas, Amelia Nierenberg, a reporter on the New York Times food desk described the cookies as being ‘suited to a cocktail party’.
“She noticed me when I did a show in New York,” said Day of Nierenberg. “I didn’t actually know who I was talking to, but it turned out to be my favourite Christmas present.”
Real Treat boasts two main lines. The Top Shelf comprises four options with flavours such as salted caramel shorties with fennel, and dark chocolate chunk with smoked pecans. These are geared towards adults with a more sophisticated palate and could easily be paired with wine and cheese or a nice Scotch whisky.
The Pantry line consists of more family friendly options and could be suitable for dunking in milk. This line includes flavours such as brown sugar shortbread and oatmeal raisin. All ingredients are certified organic.
Day, whose cookies are available all across Canada and in 13 American states, has three full-time employees with more added during busy seasons. She is seeking bigger production premises, but is determined to remain in Cochrane where her young daughter attends school.