Looking to cater to the sweet teeth of all Cairenes, Cookies 'n More are proving that there is a balance that can be struck between being decadent and healthy, one cookie at a time.
One of the biggest industries unaffected by the instabilities gripping Egypt is its sweet tooth economy. Come what may, Egyptians simply can't say no to their belly's cravings, often purchasing extravagantly decorated, but terribly unhealthy treats. Looking to return emphasis on taste, while providing healthy options of some of the world's most popular treats, is none other than Cookies 'n More.
It's probably due to Egyptians' undying love for ka7k that very few attempts have been made to divert Egyptians from this staple cookie. Maybe it's the fact that cookies were never historically prevalent in the culture, and although some businesses have tried to introduce it, many have failed. Opening in 2006, Cookies 'N More, have proven that cookies can be profitable in Egypt, although their humble beginnings didn't start with a cookie. “One day, a friend of a friend who is an event organiser, contacted us asking if we could make cupcakes for a birthday party. So I called up my sister and said 'Should we start?' So we perfected our cupcake batch, and completed our first order, then started coming up with a name and a menu for our business,” explains co-founder & managing partner Heidi Belal.
The idea of opening their own cookie business had been rolling around in the Belal sisters' heads since their childhood. According to Belal, “My mother is American, and we grew up baking cookies at home, because she could never find them in Egypt. Whenever we brought cookies with us anywhere, friends and co-workers would always ask us where we bought them, and when they found out we made them, would tell us that we should open a business and start selling them.” Equipped with the know-how, and with plenty of positive feedback, they set out to bring something unique to the market.
From a variety of spin-offs of the classic chocolate chip cookie to healthy sugar free cookies, there's a delicious range of options for the health-conscious including gluten-free loaves/cookies, low calorie bars, vegan loaves/muffins, and even cookies for those with diabetes. Creative combinations and the beloved cookie pizza, sold by the slice, has solidified their reputation as some of the best cookies in Om el Donia's ovens. “The most popular is the chocolate chip cookie, but what surprised me was how our ginger snaps took off, as ginger is not a spice that many Egyptians are used to. Our healthy cookies are sweetened with honey, made with oatmeal and whole wheat flour, as well as walnuts,” deliciously describes Belal. Although chocolate chip is their best seller, Belal would prefer to entice Egyptians to try equally tasty healthy cookies. “I want our brand to be known as the healthier treat. We include a vegetable or fruit in over 80% of our products, and I am totally against using fondant and colouring dyes. Fondant icing is so unhealthy, nobody eats it, and any time I go to a birthday you can see that people pilling it up on the plate. I would rather provide something that tastes good than filling it with junk to make it look good,” passionately describes Belal.
Always preparing their cookies fresh every day, the business has managed to grow online thanks to positive feedback that spread by word of mouth of their deliciousness and convenience. According to Belal, “Most of our sales are done online. People place their order and the next day they find their freshly baked cookies delivered to their front door. We send them out within hours of coming out of the oven.”
Located on the GrEEK campus, Cookies 'n More, have a quaint set-up dispensing rich coffees, and filling out the 'More' in their title is a myriad of beloved treats including cappuccino cupcakes, honey oatmeal bread, lemon pistachio Biscotti, zucchini chocolate chip muffins, chocolate pumpkin loaf, and double chocolate chip bars. These are but some examples of the treats at Cookies 'n More, as the options made available on their online menu seem endless, making the hardest part choosing what exactly will satisfy your sweet cravings. All of them probably.