Every now and then Allison Newgard overhears someone refer to her as ‘the cookie lady.’
That kitschy title cues an internal eye roll, but here’s the thing, she actually fits that title pretty well. After all, she knows her recipes by heart, can smell when a cookie is done before it burns, makes her own vanilla extract and brown sugar…and she’s the owner of Kitchen Sink Cookie Company.
But the thing is, Allison is and was about 10 other things besides just ‘the cookie lady.’
When she was 21 Allison felt stuck, really stuck.
Living with her parents and 3-year-old son in her hometown of Hallowell, Maine, Allison had a college degree that she didn’t want to use and no idea what to do next.
Then came a question, “Allison, what did you want to do when you were eight years old?” posed her mother.
And with one question, Allison was unstuck.
She went to culinary school, graduated, worked in a restaurant kitchen, moved to Nebraska, worked at the University, moved back to Maine, then back to Lincoln, worked at three local restaurants and then started Kitchen Sink Cookie Company in 2014.
Her cookies are creative and spunky, with nostalgic flavor combinations like peanut butter, dried strawberries and Cheez-Its, inviting cafeteria flashbacks in her Magic Lunchbox cookie.
And while you might think baking cookies all day would be the best job in the world, it’s pretty demanding work. In a typical week she clocks of minimum of 10-12 hours each day, plus whatever farmers market she’s selling at on the weekend.
Sometimes she stops and thinks, “What am I doing? Why am I baking cookies??!?!”
She said she has plenty of doubts, but also tons of support from her husband and friends who keep her zoned in on the fact that being ‘the cookie lady’ is a big part of her story.
Allison knows her unorthodox cookies won’t change the world. They’re not actually magical or life-changing in that sense, but cookies are to Allison what hugs are to others – familiar and individually unique.
There’s no playing it safe when it comes to Kitchen Sink Cookies and that’s exactly how Allison knows it should be.