Since beginning this journey toward an occasional bakery, one of the things we've talked about frequently is the idea of a cookie made from locally-sourced ingredients. Somewhere along the line, this got lost in the shuffle of registering a business, custom orders, and raising a family in complicated times. As we head back into Winter, we've resolved to make a local cookie a priority.
There are plenty of good reasons to take a run at this. Principally, locally-sourced ingredients are fresher and (should) taste better. Most palates won't materially detect a better flavor or texture from a Massachusetts-sourced flour over a similar flour from Vermont, but we expect that local ingredients will certainly taste better in the aggregate.
A second reason for pursuing a local cookie is the footprint of bringing those ingredients to market. Local ingredients — particularly if we can take advantage of existing delivery routes — should mean less long-haul trucking, less packaging designed to protect products during shipping, and a smaller overall footprint.
A third goal in pursuing a local cookie is to support local purveyors and farmers in ways that keep money in our community, and ensure that local suppliers find local markets. Ideally, our products would serve as conduits between our customers and those providers — that by highlighting a local supplier we create new markets for their products through our own. This is occasional bakery as platform — an exciting idea, even if it is not particularly novel.
We're going to start by trying to build the best-possible sugar cookie, sourced as fully as possible within fifteen miles of our bakery in Wellesley Hills — a size roughly equivalent to our core delivery radius. Our typical sugar cookie is built from seven ingredients:
- wheat flour
- baking soda
We'll approach each of those one at a time over the next few months, with the hope of releasing a mostly-local cookie in late Winter.
This is going to get tricky.