Baking since they were kids, husbands Ryan Cuillerier and Farzeen Mawji have taken that childhood passion into adulthood with Vancouver-based Boys Own Bakery, an online cookie store. We caught up with the boys between cookie dough fights to find out more.
Why a bakery?
We love cookies! Growing up we were spoiled by Moms who loved to bake and were darn good at it! We have fond memories of coming home to freshly baked cookies, still warm from the oven. Sharing that experience with our fellow ‘Cookie Lovers’ is why we started Boys Own Bakery
Do either of you have a background in baking?
Yes, we both do. We have been baking since we were kids and have always loved it! Over the years, we have honed our skills and increased our knowledge behind the science of baking, helping us create the ‘soul satisfying cookie experiences’ we are known for.
The cookie market is a competitive one – what makes you stand out?
There are certainly a lot of different cookies out there. What makes a Boys Own Bakery cookie stand apart from the rest is simple: the taste.
We weren’t kidding when we said we create ‘soul satisfying cookie experiences’, we’ve heard time and time again from our fellow cookie lovers that eating one of our cookies is literally an experience that stops them in their tracks. They take a moment to let the flavors and textures of our cookies awaken their palette and really let their taste buds savor each bite.
This unique taste is achieved by using only the freshest, highest quality ingredients. We use real butter and all of the ingredients we use are ones you can pronounce; you won’t find any preservatives or artificial flavors in our cookies. We also test our cookie recipes extensively to ensure they truly create an experience; we’re never satisfied with a ‘standard’ tasting cookie.
How do you decide what cookies to make?
We both have a passion for cookies and we have such a great time perfecting new cookies for our menu. We decide on which cookies to make based on our own tastes and cravings, as well as what we hear from our fellow cookie lovers. Sometimes we draw inspiration from traditional cookies and find a way to elevate them to a new level. Other times we are inspired by a flavor combination that we haven’t seen made into a cookie before. In the end, each cookie we make needs to be an experience – if it isn’t, we know it’s not ready for our menu yet.
You have gluten-free cookie options now – a huge trend in food right now – how difficult is it to come up with a recipe for a gluten-free cookie that tastes good?
Gluten-Free cookie options are definitely a huge trend in the market right now. They have been for a while and before we had our own cookies, we were out there trying as many options as we could. Unfortunately, each time we did, we were left disappointed because we could tell the cookie was gluten-free. As far as we were concerned, we didn’t want to feel as though we were sacrificing something in order to have a gluten-free cookie. That’s why we really took our time in developing and perfecting our own gluten-free cookie options.
Our most popular cookie has always been the Chocolate Gold – three kinds of chocolate, toasted coconut and walnuts, peanut butter chips and a hint of espresso. When we perfected our Gluten Free Chocolate Gold, we knew we had (pardon the pun) struck gold! It was every bit as delicious as our classic Chocolate Gold cookie. We sampled it at the farmers markets we attended last summer and our cookie lovers agreed! Finally a gluten-free cookie that didn’t taste dry or ‘less than’.
Where do your recipes come from?
Our recipes are inspired by everything around us. Living in Vancouver exposes us to many different cultures and flavor profiles which we are so appreciative of. A lot of our cookie inspirations also came from a road trip we took last year across North America. In fact, our Lavender Latte Shortbread was created after we had a lavender latte in this beautiful patisserie in Montreal. It was such a unique flavor that we just had to make a cookie out of it.
What’s your best-selling cookie right now?
Our best-selling cookie tends to be the Chocolate Gold but it really does vary. Our shortbreads are also really popular, even with those that don’t typically enjoy shortbreads, because of their unique flavor profiles. If you haven’t tried it yet, our Lemon Poppy Seed shortbread is definitely one worth checking out.
Do you plan on branching out from just cookies?
When we first started Boys Own Bakery we wanted to focus on creating the best tasting cookie anywhere. We were tired of so many other cookies out there that all tasted the same or were made from the same base batter recipe with minor ingredients added in just to change them up a bit.
Over the years, we have made a few wedding cakes for our close friends and family and have really enjoyed the experience. Who knows what the future holds, maybe we will branch out into cakes and other baked goods somewhere down the line. As long as it’s creative, we’re into it.
You’re strictly online but do you have plans to expand to brick and mortar stores?
We have toyed with the idea of a brick and mortar store for a while now and it’s definitely on the radar. Nothing has been decided upon just yet but stay tuned…
What are your long-term plans for Boys Own Bakery?
We have big dreams for our little bakery and can see so much potential for where we can take it! From a brick and mortar store to a Boys Own Bakery product line, there are a lot of options we want to pursue. As always, we will keep our fellow cookie lovers posted.
For more information or to order your own delicious box of cookies visit the boys at http://boysownbakery.com.