Childhood memories of potato chip cookies lead local moms to new cookie business

by Linda Hubbard on November 5, 2012

Heather Pietsch (pictured left)  kept hearing about these cookies, baked by another mom who was involved with MPPC’s Mothers Together group. “Have you tried Dani’s cookies? They’re great!” was the buzz.

The other mom was Dani Muto, who was baking a cookie with a “secret” ingredient based on her grandmother Vonnie’s recipe. “I loved my grandmother’s potato chip cookies and had her recipe,” Dani explained while we munched the cookie that’s named appropriately The Vonnie. “But when I first started making them, they didn’t quite measure up to my childhood memory. So I tweaked the recipe, although the key ingredients remain — potato chips [always Lay’s to be exact], oatmeal, white chocolate chips and pecans.”

Heather, who’d worked at SalesForce in its early years in marketing, was looking for something new to do and joined Dani in her new venture, Grandma Vonnie’s Cookies, earlier this year.

Grandma Vonnie's Cookies

The duo — both mothers of young children — are finding launching a home-based business fits their schedules well. (Note: the cookies are baked in a professional kitchen, Studio Cakes in Menlo Park.) Rather than traditional retail, they’re focusing on corporate subscription sales and special events. “We’ve also donated cookies to organizations like My New Red Shoes,” said Heather, “and will be providing cookies for the Junior League’s holiday home tour.”

Individuals can order cookies online via the website, where The Vonnie and seven other cookies flavors are offered.

As Alzheimer’s Disease has touched both Dani’s and Heather’s family, including grandmother Vonnie, they are donating 10% of their profits to the Alzheimer’s Association.

“One of the key reasons I wanted to start this company was to be able to give back,” said Dani. Added Heather: “Guess you can say we’re making a difference one cookie at a time.”

Photos by Laura Hamilton


jeremy November 06, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I’ve had these cookies and they are amazing. Nice work Grandma Vonnie!!!

Wendy November 06, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Dani, These cookies are truly delightful! Thanks Grandma Vonnie.

Eric November 06, 2012 at 3:58 pm

These cookies are wonderful! I have tried all of the flavors, and have yet to find one I did not like. A product that taste good and gives back. It is hard not to join the buzz. Home run ladies!

Jen November 06, 2012 at 4:28 pm

I’m not surprised that folks are catching on… Dani has knack for baking that rivals the classically trained. Being a bit of a cookie snob myself, I’d be hard pressed to find a potato chip cookie that competes with Vonnie’s. I’m hooked on Vonnie’s!”

Elizabeth November 06, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Congrats, Dani! So happy things have really taken off for you! The cookies are dangerously good!

Kristi November 06, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Way to go Dani! So happy for you. You are amazing! I love that your giving back to the community.

Jorie Schulz November 06, 2012 at 9:12 pm

I knew from the first “samples” you had the neighborhood test that these cookies will take you far. Good Luck!

Mariah November 06, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I would order Grandma Vonnie’s cookies for every event! Dani, my admiration grows for you daily…thanks for giving back to a research that truly needs your generosity. The Alzheimer’s Association will greatly benefit from the selflessness and deliciousness found in the real recipe given to you, and shared with the rest of us, by Grandma Vonnie!

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