Sodexo Live! Small Business Spotlight: You're A Cookie!

Published on : 4/26/24
  • In 2019, Angela Diaz set out to create "a cookie for everybody." With a decade-long career as a pastry chef, she knew how limited the options were for people with dietary restrictions. You're A Cookie was born, offering allergen-friendly cookies to make dessert delicious for everyone. In 2023, Sodexo Live! partnered with You're A Cookie to offer their sweet treats at the Chicago Botanic Garden. We had a conversation with Diaz to learn more about her enthusiasm for ensuring that everyone can satisfy their sweet tooth.

    Interviewer: What made you decide to start your own company?

    Diaz: The decision to start myAngela Diaz.jpg own company was driven by a deep passion for creating something not just delicious but also beautiful for people to enjoy. Having worked as a pastry chef in Chicago for a decade, I recognized a significant need for high-quality, gluten-free, nut-free desserts. This realization and my love for baking led me to start my own company. My aim was to create a product that was not only accessible to everyone but also versatile enough to be enjoyed in various settings, from restaurants and food service facilities to grocery stores and retail shops.

    Interviewer: Can you tell us more about your products?

    Diaz: We are on a mission to provide allergen-friendly cookies without compromising taste, texture, and ethics. Our product line includes a variety of gluten-free, nut-free desserts. We strive to use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible to ensure the freshest and highest quality in our products. You can't taste the difference—all you taste is a gooey center and crispy edges! 
    Despite being a gluten-free bakery, nearly half of my customers have no dietary restrictions. They are drawn to the high-quality ingredients that I use, all sourced from the Midwest—specifically from Scotts Valley to Michigan. I am committed to using only natural ingredients, such as the finest sugar and chocolate, and avoiding any preservatives or artificial additives. This dedication to authenticity and freshness is what sets our products apart, offering a truly wholesome experience deeply rooted in traditional baking.

    Our ultimate goal is to create a delicious and indulgent treat that anyone can enjoy, regardless of their dietary needs.

    Interviewer: What are some ways you add a personal touch to your cookies?

    Diaz: My parents were born in Mexico. I incorporate some traditional flavors from my culture into my cookies. My s'mores cookie uses Mexican hot chocolate chunks and Mexican cinnamon. Our Birthday Cake cookie features a white topping made using a process similar to conchas. I wanted an extra sugar crunch, so I put that on my cookie to reflect the treats I grew up eating.

    Interviewer: How did you get involved with the Chicago Botanic Garden?

    Diaz: A regular customer of mine, who happens to work at the Garden, spoke highly of our products to Chef Jesse Quinonez. Chef Jesse then contacted me and asked if we could provide cookies for their upcoming Halloween event. This was a significant opportunity for us, as Sodexo Live! and the Garden are renowned for their high standards and impeccable reputations. Their support and encouragement have been instrumental in our growth as a woman-owned small business.