Charitable Gift Giving

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A Great Charity Bakery – Cookies and Brownies that do good and taste great!

November 6th, 2011 · No Comments · Charities

Colleen, an intern working for Baking for Good, contacted me last month and told me about their online bakery, where they donate 15% of all purchases to one of over 200 charities that the buyer chooses.

Now of course, being a consummate professional blogger, I asked Colleen if she could send a sample for me to review. For professional purposes, of course. The fact that I have an insatiable sweet tooth and love, love, love cookies and sweets had nothing to do with it. Really, it didn’t.

Colleen and Emily (the founder of the company) were sweet enough (had to throw in the pun somewhere) to send me a box. It arrived in a few days from FedEx with this sticker on the outside:

fedex box with periship label

This was a good sign, and showed me that the company really pays attention to detail. Rather than risk a box of baked goods getting stored in a stifling hot or freezing cold warehouse for days, they sent it via this “perishable shipment” service.

I opened the box and inside was a simple brown cake box with a thin bi-colored string tied around it, the kind of string I remember from my childhood from going to the bakery with Mom and picking up a nice cake and a box of cookies. It also had a really nice note from Emily and Colleen.

cake box from baking for good charity baker

I opened the box and found two bags.

One was a bag of something called chocolate-chip brownies.

chocolate chip brownies

The chocolate chip brownie was something I’ve never seen before. It was a regular brownie that was gooey and chocolatey like a brownie should be, with delicious chunks of chocolate within. But to top it off (literally) fully baked into the top of the brownie was chocolate chip cookie dough.

chocolate chip brownies - yum yum yum yum yum

Now I’ve had my share of brownies in my day, so I do not say this lightly, but these brownies were among the best I’ve ever had, anywhere. They were so rich that I had to run to the fridge and pour myself a big glass of cold milk. It took a whole glass of milk to finish one of those amazing brownies.

The next was a bag of oatmeal raisin cookies.

oatmeal raisin cookies bag

These cookies, again, were incredible. They were wonderfully moist and chewy, with just the right amount of crisp on the outside. Again, about as perfect an oatmeal cookie I’ve ever had, and I’ve had (and made) hundreds in my day. And no, I didn’t scarf down five of them just in the time I wrote this post. I really didn’t.

oatmeal raisin cookies

Now I’ve featured baked goods on the site before, but in general they’ve been mass-produced, pre-packaged cookies and brownies. Baking for Good, on the other hand, sells cookies and brownies that are truly freshly baked. Aside from the label on the FedEx box, if you look at the labels on the bags you’ll see what I mean:

ingredients for baking for good cookies

Notice how there are no words ending in “-ite” or “-ace” or “-ized” or “-ated”.  These aren’t just as good as the cookies Mom made, these ARE the cookies Mom made.

If you look on their site, you’ll see they also have among the cutest sugar cookies I’ve ever seen. If you’re celebrating a birthday, I can’t think of a better treat than birthday sugar cookies. If you’re planning a baby shower, these baby shower cookies are adorable.

And the incredible thing about this company is not just that they send these freshly baked cookies nationwide, but that 15% of proceeds from every purchase goes to a charity you choose. There are about 200 to choose from on their site. Some are registered non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations, while others are worthy “community fundraising” initiatives to help things like school groups, kids’ sports teams, families facing illlness, and so on. Long story short, you’ll definitely find a cause worth supporting.

The story of this company is pretty incredible too. The founder, Emily Dubner, graduated from Harvard and was a management consultant for a prestigious firm in New York. Then she did something that all of us who have worked in thankless jobs in New York have always wanted to do but most of us never had the guts: she left it all behind and decided to start a business of her own. She had a lifelong love of baking (like her, some of my fondest memories were making sugar cookies from scratch in the second grade), and she built this into the company today.

As I surf through the site, the one thing that strikes me (similar to the other excellent entrepreneurial business I reviewed back in August, Spoonful of Comfort) is how brilliantly simple and creative the products are. When I look through the famous cookie retail sites, the sites just seem to impersonal and the products pedestrian and cookie-cutter (no pun intended). I’ll be honest, the cookies on those mass-market are not that special either.

Last December I was at my local CVS and I looked at the box of Christmas cookies they were selling. I kid you not, in small letters on the back it said “Made in China”. To me, this was one of the saddest things I’ve seen. Have profits become so important that companies here off-shore something as American as baking cookies? And I shudder to think what preservatives those cookies are filled with and what kind of journey they had to get to my CVS. No thank you, I’ll take these cookies, which were created and baked within these shores and sent express to your door. And yes, they have Christmas cookies which are ten thousand times better than anything you’ll find in a supermarket or drug store.

With Baking for Good, the site is beautiful and really conveys the spirit of what this young company is about. I actually had fun surfing through and looking at all the sugar cookie designs, the fall cookies, and the different flavors of cookies. And being from New York myself, I love their New York Bakery section (especially their I Love New York cookies!) I love the attention to detail too, from the eco-friendly packaging to the simple yet elegant labels on their cookie bags. And the fact that they offer gluten free cookies is another bonus.

This is the kind of company that I love to highlight most on this site. With this country in such economic straits, I think the future belongs to young entrepreneurs who follow their passion and create high-quality things that people need and want and love, not to those big nameless corporations who give you the cheap quality merchandise at cheaper prices. The fact that this company also gives to charity makes it tops in my book.

I fully plan on ordering again. I think my next purchase is going to be these Panda Cookies that donates not only to your cause but to the National Zoo as well!


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