Something Sweet at Monica's Gourmet Cookies
Posted on May 02 2022
WRITTEN BY JORDAN KOSSUTH
After leaving her career in the corporate world to start her own full-service catering business, Monica Mitidieri noticed a trend in her clients requesting “something sweet” be added to their orders. While confined to bed rest during a high-risk pregnancy, she began sketching out a recipe that continued to evolve into her Signature Chocolate Chip Cookie.
She returned to the catering business after the birth of her second daughter, Jordan, and it wasn’t long before her signature cookies were a staple in every order. Monica began to notice that it didn’t matter how great her entrees and side dishes were; clients were just begging her to “make sure those cookies are on the menu!”
Driven solely by word of mouth, her cookies continued to fly off the baking rack. In 2006, Monica decided to shift away from full-service catering, and focus all her energy on her growing passion for sweet treats – and Monica’s Gourmet Cookies have been baked to perfection ever since.
Each cookie Monica makes is a labor of love with a distinctive texture and sophisticated appearance. They are always freshly baked with ingredients from as many Michigan-based suppliers as possible, including flour and sugar to flavor extracts.
With 52 gourmet flavors to choose from, we asked Monica to share some family favorites. She stands by their Signature Chocolate Chip for a chocolate fix, but Caramel Rock is another favorite, filled with toffee bits, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and chunks and covered in caramel icing.
The whole family is a fan of Iced Lemon, but Monica jokes that daughters Nikki and Jordan are also Oatmeal Chocolate Chip fiends. Monica’s husband Frank likes the delightful nutty complexity of the White Chocolate Almond Macadamia and Vanilla Pecan cookies.
Monica’s Gourmet Cookies has a tremendous online presence, offering worldwide shipping; and they've sent cookies just about anywhere you can imagine. Frank Mitidieri was actually her first corporate gifting customer, delivering beautifully packaged cookies to his clients.
Corporate gifts still account for a significant portion of incoming orders, but boxes of these tempting confections can also be shipped to celebrate birthdays, holidays, or as care packages for college kids and other long-distance family members. And don’t forget to get something sweet from Monica for your bridal shower, baby shower, or other special events. After all – what occasion doesn’t call for cookies?!
GOURMET COOKIES FOR EVERYONE
Customer satisfaction is key – in fact, many of her flavors were born of client requests and suggestions. And Monica includes everyone in on the fun with her vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free cookies.
Sugar-Free options include a classic SF Chocolate Chip, as well as Vanilla Pecan, made with pure vanilla and loaded with pecans. She continues to look at expanding into additional vegan options but has perfected a dairy, soy, and egg-free Vegan Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie that will make your mouth water!
Monica’s Gluten-Free Cookies are made with sweet white rice flour and kettle-cooked potato chips. These, of course, include GF Chocolate Chip, along with these other exciting gourmet flavors.
Iced Almond – Made with almond dough, almond icing, and slivered almonds – oh my!
Peanut Butter Drizzle – A mound of creamy peanut butter dough covered in a rich chocolate drizzle.
Iced Lemon – A light, zesty treat covered with lemon icing.
Be sure to stop by the store before family gatherings in the fall and winter for some seasonal gluten-free cookies the whole family can enjoy – Iced Pumpkin and White Chocolate Peppermint. Peppermint dough filled with white chocolate chips and sprinkled with powdered sugar is enough to make just about anyone look forward to another frosty West Michigan winter!
You can always find the gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan cookies in stock in Monica’s storefront location, along with another unique offering – Lactation Cookies.
After several customers reached out to inquire about them, Monica met with medical professionals, who explained that some of the ingredients can help promote healthy lactation in moms struggling with breast feeding. Monica uses Brewer’s yeast, oats, cinnamon, flaxseed, and chocolate in her Lactation Cookie recipe, which is proven to keep moms coming back for more!
Brewer’s yeast is a source of B vitamins, chromium, and protein that can help boost energy, support the nervous system, and aide in digestion. Flaxseed is a plant-based food loaded with nutrients like dietary fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, which have been known have heart-healthy effects.
The soluble fiber in oats can help slow down the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream to avoid elevated blood sugar levels. So even if lactation isn’t a concern, these cookies are filled with nutrients that postpartum women could use and are a sweet treat to brighten the day of the new mom in your life.
STOP & SMELL THE COOKIES AT THE BAKEHOUSE
“The greatest asset to this company is the people that work here. Our growth is due to great promotion and great people.” – Monica Mitidieri, Owner of Monica’s Gourmet Cookies
Monica’s storefront location in Kentwood is The Bakehouse, serving as your one-stop shop to feed those cookie cravings. The team consists of about 15 people, without whom Monica is sure nothing would get done. Each team member is cross-trained on all aspects of the cookie business, from baking and icing – which is all done by hand – to packaging and running deliveries.
Monica’s husband Frank recently retired from his corporate job and joined the team full time to focus on expanding retail locations, corporate contacts, and manufacturing capabilities.
Business has been tremendous despite the pandemic – and maybe even because of it, as Monica jokes that the last few years have made one thing evident – “Chocolate is the fix for anxiety.”
In 2020, Michigan Celebrates Small Business named Monica’s Gourmet Cookies as one of the Michigan Top 50 Companies to Watch. “It was wonderful to receive this during a time when we were so busy,” says Monica, who looks forward to their continued growth.
A NEW CHAPTER FOR MONICA’S GOURMET COOKIES
Monica’s daughter, Jordan, is another integral part of the business, handling online correspondence, social media, and corporate gifting – all while living across the country in Denver! Monica and Jordan published their first children’s book in 2020, The Annual Royal Bake-Off, which follows the adventure of Sugarbelle, The Cookie Fairy, and her dog Lemmy, as they enter their cookies in the royal baking competition.
The book, along with stuffed versions of Lemmy the Dog and Sugarbelle, are available for purchase on their Monica's Gourmet Cookies website. You can even reach out to arrange virtual readings from The Cookie Fairy herself as a unique and fun experience for your child’s school, local library, or children’s hospital.
“West Michigan has been so kind in always providing support to us.” – Monica Mitidieri, Owner of Monica’s Gourmet Cookies
As the business continue to grow, Monica’s focus remains on giving back to the community through fundraisers and donations. You may spot Monica’s Gourmet Cookies at silent auction items for events and galas hosted by local school systems, humane societies, and libraries.
But don’t worry if you’re out-bid - there’s plenty of other opportunities to get your hands on them locally!
JARS ON JARS AT BRIDGE STREET MARKET
Monica’s Gourmet Cookies can be found in over 50 retailers throughout Michigan and Illinois – including our very own Bridge Street Market.
There are four core gourmet cookie flavors you can find at Bridge Street Market:Signature Chocolate Chip
Peanut Butter Drizzle
Their spring cookies are available now and may make an appearance at the market, too:
Iced Blackberry- Blackberry berry tastes from the vine, covered in luscious blackberry icing.
Iced Raspberry - Bursts of raspberry flavor with thick raspberry preserves icing.
Iced Lemon Raspberry – A citrus paradise with raspberry preserve icing.
Iced Key Lime – An exotic blend of citrus extract infused in the dough & icing.
Sugared Lemon Blueberry – A lemon cookie made with Michigan-dried blueberries and rolled in sugar.
Monica’s team delivers fresh cookies to the store 3-4 times a week. With their new and improved packaging, they boast a shelf-stable life of 12-14 days and can be kept in the freezer for over 3 months – so it’s easy to stock up on your favorites to satisfy cravings for “something sweet” year-round!
-All photos are taken by Ashley Wierenga-