Michael Pinckney is known simply as the Cookie Monster.
“You know, the best thing about being a cookie freak and the best thing about a cookie business is that you literally bring joy to people,” Pinckney said.
Yes, Cookie Monster is the official title of Pinckney. It’s printed on his business card. He is the founder of Pinckney Cookie Café, a Kirkland-based cookie company that lines up at local farmers’ markets and ships delicious treats across the country.
“We’re all about cookies. I mean, I’m very much about cookies being awesome. The number one thing is just the sheer quality,” Pinckney explained.
One of the four boys, Michael learned to cook by watching his mother, a talented cook, in their home kitchen. It remained a passion even as he pursued a career in the tech industry.
“When I was a young man living and working in New York, I worked for IBM and wanted to make the best chocolate chip cookie in the world. So I started experimenting, and when I wanted to cooking, I took them to work, I had my official team of taste testers and of course people loved it, ”Pinckney recalls.
With the help of his team of taste testers, Michael developed two cookies. The Pinckney Original is a chocolate chip cookie with chocolate paste, coconut and nuts. Dark Chocolate Oatmeal is a dark chocolate chip cookie with coconut and a hint of orange. Both received rave reviews from friends and relatives at her children’s school.
“I’ve had these two recipes, and over the years people have said ‘oh you should sell them’, as is common when someone has something they do for fun that people love it. And it occurred to me that I could start a business, “Pinckney explained.
At the Pinckney Cookie Café, Michael takes an uncompromising approach to making what he believes is the perfect cookie. It uses Belgian dark chocolate, butter from Oregon’s Larsen’s Creamery, imported vanilla, and local shepherd’s grain flour.
“It’s all about balancing the ingredients, the right ingredients, and then really working with the sourdough and the eggs to make sure that (the cookies) are soft, chewy, chewy, and just a little crunchy around the edges. that’s one of the things people especially love about our cookies, ”Pinckney said.
While making a delicious product is certainly important to Michael, so is running a socially responsible business. In 2020, he donated $ 5 for every order of a dozen or more cookies to charity. In total, Pinckney Cookie Café has donated over $ 15,000 to organizations supporting COVID-19 relief and racial justice.
“The community support when George Floyd was killed and even before that with the things we were doing for COVID-19 was so heartwarming. It’s hard to describe in words the feeling you get when complete strangers contact you d ‘one way or another, “Pinckney said.” You get the wonderful feeling and that support, but then you know you’ve done something of value and added value to the lives of others. So that was amazing. “
For Pinckney, each batch is a chance to spread the love of cookies. After all, at the end of the day, this cookie freak just wants to make people happy.
“More than half of our sales are from people giving cookies to other people. They derive the joy of giving, and the person on the other end of the joy of receiving. We see it every day in the company. joy. “