Recently, we had the enormous pleasure of getting a taste of Milk Jar Cookies. Cookies. As in pastries you grew up eating with cups of milk before you sleep. From the very first bite, we immediately fell in love and can't stop thinking of the deliciousness of each flavor. They're not your typical cookies! So we sat down with Courtney who runs and owns the store in Los Angeles, and asked her all about her love for cookies!
What made you want to open up a cookie shop? I've always loved baking, and specifically baking cookies. When we were kids, my sister and I would make cookies all the time (mainly to eat the dough, if I'm being honest), and when I was in my teens, I came up with my own recipe. As I perfected it over time, it became very popular with friends, family, and eventually co-workers. After several instances of people mistaking them for "bakery" cookies, I realized I might have created something special. In 2005, I began experimenting with a variety of flavors and started an online business. I loved the thought that, with each of the deliveries I made, someone's day got a little bit brighter, and the end goal quickly became to go brick and mortar. I wanted a shop where I could host these people and provide a place to enjoy a cookie and a glass of milk.
It's hard to find cookies of the size of which you produce. It's very different, which makes it even better. How did you come up with the ideas for your cookies - size, flavors, etc? I get inspiration for different flavors from a variety of places. Some have been inspired by friends and family, and others by my own favorite desserts/snacks. I feel like cookie flavors sometimes aren’t very unique, so I thought it would be neat to offer some decadent, inventive choices, as well as the classics. Experimenting in the kitchen is fun for me, so if I think of something, I go for it. It’s not always a homerun, but sometimes it works out. For instance, I remember when I thought of the banana split, I was on an “ice cream” flavor kick and thought there must be a way to bring that classic dessert to cookie form. As I was making it, the thought crossed my mind that it was either going to be a disaster or delicious. It’s turned out to be one of our most popular flavors.
I played around with a few different sizes of cookies, but ultimately, I wanted a customer to be completely satisfied with one cookie and a glass of milk. People don’t always treat themselves, so when they do, they should get their money’s worth and really enjoy the experience.
The store has a wonderful vintage flare. One would think they're in Portland, versus Los Angeles! Who came up with the detailing and store design? Thank you so much! Maybe Milk Jar Portland is in our future… I’ve had this vision for the shop for many years, and it was so fun to make it a reality. I wanted it to look and feel like home and be very pretty, but with just enough rustic touches that it wasn’t girly. From picking out the wallpaper and paint colors to finding local people to make the chandeliers and tables, every detail was important to me. My husband and I love working with our hands and being crafty, so we had a blast doing a lot of the work ourselves, too. A couple of my favorite projects we did together were refinishing the antique doors and making the storefront sign. My family got in on the fun and hunted down some of our little tchotchkes on the shelves, which was really special. I can honestly say that it is everything I ever imagined, and more.
Since your launch, how has the response been from customers? The response has been incredibly humbling! We feel so lucky to have been received so kindly by Los Angeles and beyond. We absolutely love our customers and have had so much fun getting to know them. It's a privilege to serve them, as they have a lot of choices when it comes to sweets. The Miracle Mile neighborhood, in particular, is overwhelmingly supportive and vocal about how glad they are to have us here. We couldn’t be more grateful for the very loyal following we’ve gained already and are looking forward to continuing our growth.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5, 10 years? In the next five years, I’d love to open 2 or 3 more locations and serve people of other areas. In 10 years, another two or three on top of that wouldn’t be so bad. There are several cities across the country that I, personally, adore and feel Milk Jar would thrive. At the moment, we’re nurturing this first shop, but we’ve got our sights set on growth, that’s for sure!
Milk Jar Cookies is located at: 5466 Wilshire Boulevard. Los Angeles, California 90036. We promise you'll love it as much as we do!
Photographed by Ashley Maxwell Photography