Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Michael's Cookie Jar Downtown Grand Opening

What makes a grand opening GRAND?   Well…the word "grand" is synonymous with Magnificent, and can be thought of as awe-inspiring, splendid and monumental.  

We at Michael’s Cookie Jar want to share the GRAND experience of our small business expanding, growing, and thriving with you, the community, our patrons, friends and fans. What is an exciting moment in time if you can’t share it? We are prepared to do just that on Friday, March 14th from 12-4 p.m. at Michael’s Cookie Jar downtown in the Pennzoil Tower.

Did you know there is a whole world that work and play under the streets of downtown Houston? Most people don’t know such a world exists and that you can get #cookiesunderground as well as a hearty lunch, shop for gifts and meet people from interesting and intriguing professions of all kinds.

Michael’s Cookie jar is proud to be a part of this underground world and to share their cookies with the best of the best when it comes to cookie lovers. Why don’t you set some time aside on Friday the 14th (or any day for that matter) and take a field trip to explore and visit us in the Pennzoil Tower.  

During our Grand Opening you will meet the “Cookie Master” himself, Michael Savino, our local vendors and partners from Araya Chocolate, Chocolate Pizzazz, Caphin and Mill-King. A Star of Hope representative will be on site and a percentage of our proceeds from our event will be given to this worthy cause as giving back is part of Michael’s “Grand” scheme.  If that is not enough, warm cookies out of the oven, door prizes and a fun filled atmosphere will have you in cookie heaven.

In closing, be in the know, experience #cookiesunderground and join us for our Grand, Magnificent and awe-inspiring event.  We’ll preheat the oven now!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Bronco Buster Rides into Houston!

There’s a new cookie in town!  Inspired by the deep traditions of Houston’s beloved rodeo, Michael has created a cookie that embodies the spirit of life on the range!

The Bronco Buster is a cowboy inspired cookie. A little like an oversized (4 oz) chocolate chip cookie, but made with candied bacon, Texas pecans and a hint of chipotle. It’s a rebel of a cookie, one that deserves its own box.

At first bite you might need time to process the experience.  The flavors rush through your mouth like a stampede of wild horses. As your eyes roll back into your head you realize you have just tasted the best cookie this side of the Mason Dixon line. When only crumbs remain you might find yourself in need of an ice cold glass of milk, a shot of bourbon, or a nap, either way, be assured, your taste buds will never be the same.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Order Holiday Gifts Early!


We're gearing up for a very busy holiday season at Michael's Cookie Jar.  As you know, our new store will be opening later this month.  We're anticipating that our production will double almost instantly.  As such, we want to make sure that if you need gift boxes shipped in December, to please order early!

If you'd like to order cookie gifts (individual or corporate) to be shipped in December, please place those orders (or commit to place an order) by November 15th.

Although we will accept gift box orders after November 15th, we will not be able to ship them in December.




Friday, September 20, 2013

Meet Sherry Eichberger!


Meet Sherry Eichberger, a woman who loves Entrepreneurship and small business!  It’s no surprise because she's lived her life with the entrepreneurial spirit! Growing up in a small suburban town in Michigan, the youngster Sherry led her neighborhood through one entrepreneurial experiment after another from Kool-Aid stands to stuffed animal zoos! She was always thinking of the next big thing to share, make money and use her creativity.

Fast forward many years to motherhood where Sherry, a stay at home mom, once again found a way to keep her entrepreneurial spirit alive by starting a small business she could run out of the house while raising her two small children. It was called “The Tickle Trunk” and the idea was that busy moms could rent a trunk of costumes for their kids’ events.   It must have been a meaningful enterprise because she still has the business cards in her wallet today!  I’ll bet anything she has a few costume still at the house, because you just never know when someone might need one!

Fast forward many more years later.  With grown children in college, Sherry took a huge leap of faith and built a business from scratch during the worst economic times in years. “One Green Street” served the community as a “green” retailer for many years until unfortunately they had to close their doors in July of this year.

With the passion for entrepreneurship still alive, a fateful cell phone text brought her to Michael’s Cookie Jar.  It started with a simple enough message. I was checking on Sherry to see how she was doing when she replied: “Do you need a manager?”

My response: “Do you know a Sherry clone that could manage my new location?”

Her answer: “How about the real thing?” And the rest is history.  

Sherry has always been passionate about her work and I’m thrilled that she’s chosen to work with me and my crew.  In her own words: “I have always respected and admired Michael as a local business owner, pastry chef and a person who gives back to the community. It is an absolute honor and privilege to manage his new location and assist him in growing this inspiring local business.”  Our little bakery has quickly become a place she could call home and could continue to fuel her lifelong passions.

Once you meet her at the new store, you'll see how Sherry will care for and delight downtown “sweet” lovers with her professional, yet down to earth style. Sherry's words again: “I know my purpose and it is to serve. I look forward to doing just that.”


We are thrilled to have her on board!  

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Michael's Cookie Jar Opens Second Location

Great News!  Downtown Houston will grow sweeter this fall when we open our second location in Houston’s Pennzoil Tower! We will be located at tunnel level with easy access to street level.  The shop will open in late October.  

This second sweet spot will feature all the same delectable "chef-prepared" all-butter cookie creations Houstonians have grown to love over the years – classic soft-baked Americana cookies, decorated cut-outs, biscotti, fancy tea cookies, and mouth-watering dessert bars. Fresh beverages and local collaborations, including Chocolate Pizazz and Fat Cat Creamery “Ice Cream Sammies,” will also be available for purchase.  

Like the flagship Weslayan location, our downtown shop will offer delivery to businesses in the area, but downtown employees will be encouraged to stretch their legs and step outside the office for a tunnel walk and a sweet treat. We will also offer dessert catering for business affairs, birthday celebrations and employee events.  

We've been a long time supporter of the local community from our charitable contributions to local schools and business partnerships with favorite local businesses like Sundance Cinemas, Agora Coffee House, Inversion Coffee House, and Spec’s Liquor House on Smith Street. You can also find our vegan cookies on board some of Houston’s beloved food trucks, like Monster PBJ

One of the best kept secrets is that we offer vegan cookies, sugar-free cookies and gluten-free cookies.  Once the new store opens, these items will be readily available to meet modern-day demands. 

Our soon-to-be second location is a direct product of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, where in we crafted a business growth plan during an intensive 10-week program.  The mission of the program is to increase sales and increase employment.  We will do both!  As such, we are hiring customer service people, delivery people, a store manager and pastry cooks.  Full-time and part-time positions are available.  We've worked with many students over the years and are happy to work with their sometimes erratic schedule needs.  Click here for an application.

Stay tuned to this blog for further developments!

You can find Michael’s Cookie Jar at our website; on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Big Taste at the Corinthian - April 21, 2013


 
I have been a Big Brother twice. The first time was way back in the late 80's. "Little" Justin is now all grown up and doing well in Ohio. My current Little Brother, Larry, is 11 years old and we've been matched now for more than two years. Being a "Big" is a very rewarding thing to do because more than anything, these kids just need your time. So, I'm delighted to be helping in another way as Big Brother/Big Sisters of Houston hosts their first "Big Taste" at the Corinthian on April 21st. Along with dozens of other wonderful Houston restaurants, we'll be giving out sweets to folks whose ticket purchase goes to fund important programs at BBBS. Join us!
 

Monday, April 1, 2013

SPOTLIGHTING OUR STAFF

Who makes YOUR food? So often the answer is “How the heck would I know?” Much of our food comes from distant places. Even in restaurants, you rarely see the people making your tasty meal.

We opened our current bakery in 2010 and from the beginning, we wanted transparency in how and where your cookies are made. Our open kitchen design is a rarity in bakeries. Everyday our customers marvel at the team of people they see mixing, rolling, baking and decorating their cookies. Many times our customers are so transfixed by what our crew is making they order something related to whatever is in production at the moment!

An open kitchen is a first step in knowing how your cookie came to be, but who are those people and what are their stories? Today we begin a multi-part series of profiles on the talented and dedicated people who make magic everyday at our bakery.

Name: Katherine “Katie” Rangel
 
Where did you grow up? Sugarland, TX
 
Position/Title at MCJ: General Manager
 
How did you get into cooking? My first job was at a candy store when I was 14 years old. I have a major sweet tooth. I used to dine out with my firend’s parents at fancy restaurants so I was exposed to many different cuisines and it caught my interest. After high school I enrolled in Houston Community College’s baking and pastry program and studied under a Belgian chef name Eddy Van Damme (he was fantastic). I also did an internship at Mark’s American Cuisine and worked in a handful of other places to gain experience. I was then hired as the first employee at Michael’s Cookie Jar and have been happily working there ever since.
 
Favorite Cookie: Chocolate Chip - hot, gooey, and fresh out of the oven.
 
Favorite food: Almond Croissants and the Chile Rellenos at Hugo’s Mexican Restaurant. 
 
Guilty pleasure: Watching a movie, sitting alone on my couch with a glass of wine.
 
Best way to spend a Sunday afternoon: Playing with my family in the park.
 
Hobbies: I like to read, draw, and paint.
 
An interesting or secret fact about yourself: I can speak Spanish, I have an armful of tattoos, and matching moles on my feet.
 
If you never had to work what would you do? I would make croissants all day and take care of my son.
 
What is the last book you read? Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat by Howard Lyman.
 
What is on your bucket list? Travel the world and drag race on a professional speedway.
 
Favorite Quote: “When I am in trouble eating is the only thing that consoles me...at the present I am eating muffins because I am unhappy. Besides, I am particularly fond of muffins.” - Oscar Wilde
 
Favorite Hangout Spot: Lounging in the grass at the Menil Collection in Montrose
 
What do you think everyone should know about Michael’s Cookie Jar? Going to MCJ is like buying a luxury item - you get great service and a great product - it is the Nieman Marcus of bakeries!