It is quite simple. We are here to make really great cookies, brownies, and fruit bars while paying above minimum wage, treating our employees with respect, our customers with care, and giving what we can to people and groups that need some help.
Founded in 1983 by Zoe Smith.
RICHMOND BUSINESS OF THE YEAR 2012
100% WOMAN OWNED AND CERTIFIED BY WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council)
Zoe’s Cookies and Other Delights is a San Francisco Bay Area wholesale bakery founded in 1983 that creates outstanding cookies, brownies, and fruit bars. We also sell frozen cookie dough pucks to our customers who prefer to have freshly baked cookies right out of their own ovens. Our wholesale customers include corporate cafeterias, food service management companies, catering companies, grocery stores, universities, cafes, delis, coffee shops, performing arts venues, and more.
We make some outrageously delicious vegan cookies that can now be purchased at Whole Foods Markets as pre-portioned frozen cookie dough found in the frozen dessert section. These are so delicious, you’ll wonder why we even need to use butter and eggs in cookies.
EGG FREE AND REDUCED EGG COOKIES
As a result of the summer 2015 avian flu epidemic in the poultry industry, we decided to reduce or eliminate eggs from most of our cookies. After researching the cruel treatment of poultry on large farms, it became clear to Zoe that the fewer eggs we used, the better.
DONATIONS AND GIVING BACK
Zoe’s Cookies donates to many organizations on a regular basis. Here are but a few.
Richmond Rescue Mission; Solano Playlot Community Center in Richmond sponsored by the Richmond Community Foundation; Bike a Thons; Gay Pride Day Parade; Jazz Camp West; Taylor Family Foundation,; Delancy Street Foundation; schools; athletic teams; churches; public radio stations.
Baking has been a life long passion that began when I was just four years old in the mid 1950’s. Inside the Vienna Bakery in Tempe, Arizona, where my mother, Edwinna, worked, I learned how to count and sort packages of cookies by the dozens, how to truly enjoy a just baked cream puff, and how to sleep soundly at nap time inside a big cardboard box on the bakery floor. Most importantly, despite the owner’s frequent requests of my mother to stop giving so many cookies to people who couldn’t pay for them, I learned how to elicit a smile by pressing a cookie into someone’s hand.
In 1981 as a single parent and recently graduated college art major (whose classmates were handed plenty of cookies) I was looking for a way to earn money while caring for my infant daughter, Nia, the curly haired toddler of the original logo who ultimately became the inspiration for Zoe’s Cookies and Other Delights.I headed for the local flea market in Berkeley, California and when I had sold everything I could manage without, I began baking cookies and banana bread and selling them on the weekends. My desserts soon gained a stellar reputation as the regulars sought out my booth each weekend. It wasn’t long before I added local cafes to my list of happy customers.
I realized I had to take the next step so I rented after hours space from the first of three different retail bakeries. Like my mother, I often had to bring my daughter to the bakery, so Nia now has her own memories of delicious fresh baked goodies and falling asleep on a stack of blankets to the sweet scents of vanilla, butter, chocolate, and brown sugar.
By 1986, with my six part time employees and forty wholesale accounts, I moved into my own wholesale bakery space in Richmond, California. Unable to secure a business loan, I borrowed money from friends, convinced my contractors to finance the tenant improvements, found great bargains on used equipment, and signed my first commercial lease.
By 1993 cookies were practically bursting out of the 1800 square foot building and I realized it was time to move. Today, located less than a mile from the first building and within a stone’s throw of the beautiful Richmond Marina and shoreline, we are making lots of cookies “and other delights”. Every week tens of thousands of people enjoy a treat from Zoe’s Cookies. That is a lot of smiles!
Although my art career never materialized, those formative years at the Vienna Bakery quite unexpectedly evolved into the foundation for my company. Millions of cookies and other delights later, my greatest delight is still seeing that smile on the face of a happy customer, a poignant reminder of my childhood days spent at The Vienna Bakery with my mom.