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