Not your typical Grandma – nor your typical cookie!
At Grandma’s Mountain Cookies, our pride-and-joy are our quarter-pound (yes – that’s big) thick, soft cookies.
Are the cookies delicious?
A resounding, “Yes!” They are thick, soft, and completely satisfying – with a variety to tempt even the most discerning palate.
Are the cookies made without preservatives?
Another, “Yes!” We do not use preservatives in our cookies to extend their shelf-life. So be sure to eat them quickly, or throw them in the freezer to maintain their freshness (like there will be any left over to freeze).
Is each cookie really a quarter-pound?
To this question, we say, “At least!” Since each cookie is hand-made, sometimes we get a little generous with the dough in the cookie scoop. Consider it our treat (and Grandma’s way of letting you know you are her favorite).
But enough about the cookies. We would hope that the pictures and the descriptions would speak for themselves. The true gem of Grandma’s Mountain Cookies is Grandma Barb. If you have ever had the opportunity to visit the store during its’ hey-day in Estes Park, Colorado, then we would hope that you had a chance to meet Grandma and that she brightened your day just a bit like she has for so many over the years.
We’d love to paint you a picture about how Grandma’s Mountain Cookies was the fruit of the labor of a little white-haired Grandma, in a frilly apron, slaving over a hot oven testing recipes for a gaggle of grandkids (she has 18, by the way). But that’s just not the case. Our Grandma is not little (almost 6’ tall with a shoe size I never could grow into). She is not white-haired (although it was purple for a while in admiration of her then 20-year old granddaughter). The only part of that scenario that might pertain to our Grandma is the frilly apron. She’ll wear just about anything in public.
No – Grandma’s Mountain Cookies came into being because Grandma Barb just happened to be in the right place at the right time when an opportunity was presented. But before we move forward, let’s look back just a bit.
For years prior to taking over the cookie store in Estes Park, Grandma traveled there for mini-vacations with friends and family. As her daughter, I can attest to many memories of riding in the back of the car through the winding canyon, trying to see the top of the mountains that cradled us on either side and watching the icy cold river rush by. Of course, we had to stop off at The Dam Store for a quick snack and a last bathroom break before we started the final trek. Along the way, we might have stopped for a picnic, or just to stand alongside the Big Thompson River watching the fishermen down below or taking pictures of the mountain goats climbing the steep rocks.
Once we got to town we would spend the day enjoying the glorious Colorado sunshine. We’d saunter up and down the streets of the quaint little town, perusing the variety of wares offered by the shops. I have memories of a store in The Old Church Shops that sold nestling dolls. You could hardly drag me out of there – I just wanted to look at them all and listen to the intriguing accents of the people who owned the store. No matter what day of the year it was, Simply Christmas embodied the joy and wonder of Christmas, even in the middle of summer. Of course, you couldn’t help but be tempted by all of the treats you encountered: Laura’s homemade fudge; giant caramel-dipped apples rolled in chopped nuts or (my personal favorite) M&M’s; and of course, cookies.
Estes Park was and is, to us, a magical place. Grandma instilled in all of us a love of the town and of the majestic beauty of our wonderful Colorado.
Almost fifteen years ago, Grandma had a friend who had bought into a franchise in Estes Park and was looking at selling. As the opportunity unfolded, Grandma was thrilled to find herself not just visiting Estes Park on occasion, but now owning her own store in a town she loved and had shared with her children and grandchildren for decades. A name change happened, and Grandma’s Mountain Cookies was born.
Over the years, this store became the center of Grandma’s life. Guests who came into the store when pregnant had their picture taken, and were asked to please come back after the baby was born so that the “after” picture could be taken. At least that’s what Grandma told them. The real reason she wanted them to come back was so that she could spend a few moments in her own little heaven holding the most precious of God’s creations. Okay – less floury talk, and more cut-to-the-chase. Grandma is a baby freak. You might be a complete stranger, but she will win you over and you will let her hold your baby. And the peace and serenity on her face while she holds your child is the only proof you need that Grandma loves all children.
Even people without babies were welcomed warmly. If you didn’t know much about Estes Park’s history, then you can bet Grandma took a few minutes to share some stories with you. She would have told you about the Samson the Elk (with newspaper clippings as props); some of the history of The Stanley Hotel; recommended one of her favorite places to eat; or just shared a story from her life. Hopefully, you didn’t ask about her grandkids, because you didn’t get out quickly if you made that mistake. Grandma loves to talk about her family.
If you had been in the store before, you might have taken a few minutes to peruse the thousands of pictures on her wall – all taken of past patrons – looking for yourself? People who came to Grandma’s Mountain Cookies once almost always came back again their next time through town. Over the years, Grandma has had visitors from every State in the Union, and so many countries that it is impossible to count. She welcomed you all with open arms (yes, I mean Grandma is a hugger), and invited you all to return.
For Grandma, the cookies are the frosting, and her customers are the base. Without you – she just doesn’t know what to do with herself. Unfortunately, the Estes Park store fell victim to the flood. The financial set-backs were too much to recover from, and the decision was made to close the Estes Park store.
But that does not mean that Grandma is down and out. She’s baaaaaack! Grandma’s Mountain Cookies (and Grandma) are still alive-and-well in Loveland, Colorado. Although Grandma’s health precludes her from being able to come by the store very often, she still keeps her fingers on the pulse of things and is excited to reach out to you through her website, Facebook page, and email. She loves hearing from everyone and hopes that you will take some time to watch for [blog name that I don’t know what we will call it].