Heard The Crumby News About A Christmas Cookie Shortage? Not In Cincinnati...
WVXU recently received a news release from a public relations company proclaiming cookie consumption is up 25% during the pandemic and that "major cookie manufacturers" are warning "Americans could find themselves lacking cookies for Santa this year."
After brushing the crumbs off our shirts, WVXU decided to check in with some local cookie purveyors about whether or not there's a cookie crush on.
"We're doing just what we do every single year," reports Mary Von Bargen, Servatii's retail operations manager. "We're cranking them out and we don't have any issues with any of our ingredients."
The big seller at Servatii? Tea cookies, the made-with-real-butter kind, sold in tins and by the tray. Von Bargen estimates Servatii will sell millions of the small golden yellow confections topped with a dollop of bright icing. "Adults love them as well as children," she points out.
Tea cookies are popular at Graeters, too. President Richard Graeter is personally fond of the ones he says are only offered at the holidays. They're wrapped in the same rich chocolate the company uses in its ice creams.
"All of our bakers are healthy and well, which is great because baking is really an art and without good bakers you can't make good bakery products," Graeter says. "We're very fortunate that the staff is healthy and we're able to keep up and keep the cookies rolling."
The popular tea cookies come in one-pound and three-pound boxes. Graeter notes the smaller boxes seem to be going faster this year as people plan to keep holiday celebrations smaller.
Over at Busken, bakers don't have to do a cookie poll to figure out what tasty pastry tops people's holiday list. Yup, the tea cookie - sold in one- and three-pound boxes - reigns supreme, according to President and CEO Dan Busken. He says there are no supply or production problems either.
"We're doing everything possible to make sure there's not a shortage. We're at full capacity right now and producing as many cookies as we can," Busken says, adding the bakery turns out between 20,000-30,000 cookies per day.
Why should you spend your hard-earned cookie money on cookies from a local bakery - whether it be one of these or your neighborhood shop? That's a no-brainer: fresh and local.
"Now that's an easy question to answer," Graeter says with a laugh. "Because they're so much better and they're fresh. They're made right here in Cincinnati in our factory where we've been baking them since the '50s."
"Our product is so, so fresh," says Busken. "We're literally making cookies today and selling them tomorrow."
"You're going to get more of that homemade image," Von Bargen concludes. "They're baked fresh, they don't have any artificial flavoring in them."
Now, pass the milk!