Ind. business delivers cookies to college students



Every morning the ovens are fired up and the batter is mixed.

Flour, sugar, eggs and chocolate chips are tossed into the bowl and mixed.

The dough is hand scooped with an ice cream scooper, plopped onto cookie sheets and placed in the oven at the perfect temperature.

This isn’t mom’s kitchen, but the kitchen of College Cookies, a new business in Carmel, Ind.

Launched Aug. 26, College Cookies is based on an old cookie recipe from Anne Kirk, grandmother of 10, and sends cookies to hungry college students across the nation.

Anne started her catering company in 1974 and became known for her cookie recipe.

She passed that recipe on to her children, and they, in turn, sent the cookies off to their kids who went to college.

Anne’s son, Tim Kirk, repeatedly sent the family cookies to his son at Wabash College, and after a while he began getting requests.

“We’re used to these cookies, but our friends were seriously obsessed,” said Kerry Kirk, Anne’s granddaughter and chief marketing officer for College Cookies. “People are addicted. They love them.”

After getting so many requests for the cookies, Tim realized these cookies could really be lucrative. He bought the domain CollegeCookies.com and kept it for 12 years.
Six months ago, the Kirks sat down and decided they wanted to do something with the name.

This led to College Cookies, which donates $1 to literacy initiatives for every box of cookies sent.

Right now the company is working to send a child in Nepal to school for a year, which costs $250, through a company called Room to Read.

Kerry traveled to one of Room to Read’s sites in Vietnam in July to see the charity at work before College Cookies officially launched.

Room to Read trains the people in the villages to be self-sufficient, mainly by teaching them how to build facilities and be teachers.

“The coolest part was how excited the girls were to be there and learn and know they are changing their lives,” Kerry said. “It gives them an opportunity to choose what they want to do with their lives.”

After visiting Vietnam, Kerry said she knew the charity was perfect for College Cookies because of its value on education.

“It made it really real what we were doing,” Kerry said. “Our hope is to become really successful, and I think eventually we’ll be able to give a lot of money to help these different people.”

College Cookies is not only focused on education but on family as well. Many of Kerry’s aunts and uncles are involved and so is her brother in New York. Her grandmother, Anne, still comes in and bakes.

The company wanted to make sure when students opened their box of cookies it felt as if they were sent from grandmother’s kitchen, so they made sure their cookies were preservative-free and made from fresh ingredients.

Despite turning their cookies into a business, the Kirks are still centered around the cookies.

Every year at Christmas, Anne and family members go to the bakery to make cookies for the holidays.

“We all truly want each other to be successful and for (the company) to be successful. We all know that we have each other’s best interests at heart,” Kerry said.

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