"Every time I eat something that I know might not be good for me, I'll just tell myself that I'm feeding my soul," says Talia Zar when asked about the inspiration behind her cookie-making business, Cookies for the Soul. And if there is one thing that a mere bite into her gooey treats makes apparent is that they are as fulfilling to one's soul as they are delectable to the palate.
Selling about 3,000 cookies a week nation-wide, Cookies for the Soul is the brainchild of Zar and her mother Naomi, who together operate out of a commercial kitchen on Long Island.
After graduating college in 2017, the younger Zar delved into the fashion industry while simultaneously indulging her passion for all things food by starting a now-defunct blog dubbed NYC Food for the Soul.
"I had so many pictures of food from all over New York," she recounts. "And my mom told me that I should consider growing the blog as social media was booming at the time."
Clearly, mom always knows best: after dedicating herself full-time to the online endeavor, Talia was able to grow it exponentially and even started posting photos of foods and desserts that she would prepare herself. "Every time I posted a cookie, it would resonate with my audience," she explains.
Fast-forward to the end of 2018 and the mother-daughter duo set up an official business making and delivering cookies.
Fans of the desserts monitor the company's Instagram account obsessively, where Talia and Naomi reveal the exact time of weekly drops. There are four classic flavors to choose from (chocolate chip, cookies and cream, Nutella and sprinkles) plus two rotating monthly ones. In April, sweet tooths can delight in double stuffed peanut butter cup and M&M's.
Full disclosure: these dense and gooey delicacies sell out fast, so you're going to want to order yours as soon as a drop is made public.
Hoping to one day expand into franchising, Talia clearly knows her stuff when it comes to cookies. Her favorite ones in New York? "Levain," she says matter-of-factly. "I would trek to Amsterdam Avenue in rain, snow or shine because their chocolate chip walnut cookie is my favorite." For what it's worth, Levain has certainly got some competition.
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