I’ve been baking up cookies for everyone I know, and the buzz has been amazing: “Donny, These Cookies are so good they outta be criminal”
“Donny, How can something so full of natural goodness taste so sinful?” And my all time favorite: ” Donny, how did a bad boy like you make something so good?” (My grandma & that nice little blond next door both said that).
So, when I started asking people what the name should be (I had a few choices) the answer was always the same: Donny Craves.
Ummm. Can’t you people read? That’s not one of the choices on the list.
But every time I asked the answer was the same: “Donny, it’s your cookie. Your vision. Your reputation. It’s gotta be Donny Craves.”
So when it came time to discuss designing the package for my cookies, (get your head outta the gutter–I’m talking about fancy stuff, like branding & all that badda bing!) my associate Rob (he handles my dirty work) sent me off to Ultradeluxe to get some creative direction.
Vavavavooom. I’ll let that agency creatively direct me anytime.
I love a leggy blond that compliments my cookies like a tall glass of cold milk.
Now what was I talking about? I got distracted. Ah, design. Ultradeluxe figured that since we was going with my real name, why not just use my face on the logo–right? I mean I do have that touchable, curly haired Justin in his early years thing going on–and ladies, I also have cookies–and a sidekick.
And now I’m a brand.
I’m so pumped from what I didn’t see or taste at the trade fairs (there ain’t nothing like my cookies, ladies!) that I’ve decided it’s time to take the plunge and move into a big professional bakery so I’d have more space to bake in–extra space means extra goodies! Think room for loads more chocolate, vanilla, raisins and more…
People, this is big! It’s sample package day here in the test kitchens!!
I gotta say I was a little nervous about what was gonna show up, but the cookie wrapper has got my beautiful mug on the front and my goofy sidekick rat (he’s based on a wisecracking pal of mine) so how can it be anything but fantastic? It’s gonna fly off the shelf, so fuhgeddaboutit.
My Momma said you gotta crack a lotta eggs to make the perfect omelet. Too true. You also gotta taste test a lotta organic chocolate, raisins, oatmeal, vanilla, and well, all the delicious organic ingredients that are gonna make my cookies better than the rest before you can bake truly fantastic, chewy, organic cookies.
And that’s what I have been doing since my last entry until now–June 2008.
Thanks to months of careful selection, I now have a kitchen bursting with the finest naturally delicious ingredients under the sun: from heaps of deep, dark, melt in your mouth organic chocolate chips and plump sun ripened raisins, to fluffy whole wheat flour & the finest organic rolled oats for adding a nutty depth of flavor to my cookies, and dark, rich unrefined cane sugar–I’m gonna use it to create a delicious caramely taste and a great chewy texture to my Cookies that beats white sugar any day of the week!
Add to that the jars of cinnamon and organic vanilla that now line my shelves and the smells are heavenly. Combine those ingredients just right, and my cookies are gonna taste sinful!
I’m all about keeping it real–with my crew and my cookies–so I registered a domain name today that fits with my vision! I’m still not sure what I am gonna call these delicious goodies, but I figure since I’m trying to make them as organic and naturally delicious as possible the name www.honestcookies.nl is the perfect fit. The details will fall in place later.
I’m at Cruise & Dance 2008…our eyes lock…vavavavoom…I give her a cookie (hey, we all have our tricks with the ladies, don’t knock it till you try it!)…She gives me a business card (is this flirting in the 21st century?) …I think it’s true love…she takes a bite (of the cookie you sicko!)…it’s true love…
Unfortunately, it’s my Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie she loves.
Fortunately, Ms. Beauty & Brains owns a marketing agency… and she’s gonna represent me!
Life just gets sweeter.
So you’re at work, and you’re asking yourself: “how come Donny has this brilliant life making delicious organic cookies that are so good they outta be criminal? How come I’m not doing that instead of reading about him while I sit behind my desk in a cube?”
So I’ll tell you why…
One day back in November 2007 I got hungry. Real hungry. You know the kinda hungry where you forget to eat lunch, then don’t eat all afternoon, and then you feel kinda angry for no reason—you know, Hangry.
Yeah, I was real Hangry.
So, I hit the shops looking for a natural snack to freshen me up till dinner time (I was making fresh pasta with sautéed greens, cannellini beans and garlic for dinner so I just needed a light bite—you know?).
And what do I find? Shops full of junk food that were just e-numbers, preservatives and white sugar—and here I was craving a delicious, chewy, flavorful organic goodie I could just pop into my mouth.
But I couldn’t find one.
So, I hit the health food shops…and yeah, sure, they had lots of healthy stuff, but I craved something luscious and fulla flavor—I mean no offense, but how anybody can take sweet, ripe natural ingredients and turn ‘em into a dried out biscuit is beyond me.
And so I just got hangrier, and hungrier, and fuhgeddaboutit—that was one long afternoon.
In the end I was so irritated at not finding what I wanted in the shops that I guess I may have bored my friends telling them about it, and they kept saying the same things: “Sheesh Donny! Shuttupa your face! Enough already! You don’t find what you like—you make it yourself. Nobody cooks like you do…”
Now, where I come from them is fighting words—and since I like a challenge as much as I like to eat natural organic food I decided why not prove that I could make organic goodies that taste sinfully delicious and share them with the world?!
You think you can do better?
Then come and join the family! http://www.donnycraves.com/business.html
Wanna see what happens when one man is really hungry? Stay tuned…
How sweet it is! The cookie wrapper packaging is officially designed to perfection and is being printed out. I can now wrap and send samples whenever I want.
Keep an eye on your postbox people–there may be a cookie arriving any day with your name on it!
My friends have started calling me the cookie hermit because I have barely left my test kitchens for the past 8 months…but there’s a reason… I’ve been perfecting my secret recipe of chewy, melt in your mouth cookies! Each delicious bite is chock full of all natural goodness like organic chocolate, organic free-range eggs, vanilla bean & cinnamon, and organic steel milled oats & plump juicy raisins.
Nobody said it would be easy finding the perfect organic cookie recipe, but now that I have found it, I kind of miss having the excuse of eating all my first attempts!
Ok, so my friends & associates say I have an amazing cookie, and I know it’s something to be proud of because I’ve seen what goes into it, but I just realized that my dream to make the most delicious organic goodies started based on what I couldn’t find in the stores in my neighborhood–and so it got me thinking…will I find anything like it out there at the biggest trade fairs for confectionary and organic products in Europe?
Hey, I know what I am making is honestly delicious–capiche?
But how do I know it’s unique?
It was time to go find out what’s happening in the bigger world, and so I headed out to Biofach: Where organic people meet–the World Organic Trade Fair and to ISM–the future of sweets…the world’s biggest confectionery trade fair.
I went–I saw–I came home smiling like the cat that got the cream, cause baby, there’s definitely room for a tasty new kid in town!
Donny Craves has been granted EKO status! I’ve been committed to packing each bite of my Donny Craves’ cookies full of pure honest ingredients–certified organic–and now I’ve received the Skal certificate to prove it!
Because you’d expect nothing less.
In case you’re wondering, Skal is the inspection and certification body for organic production in the Netherlands. They’re a member of EOCC, the European Organic Certifiers Council and the use of the EKO Quality Mark is restricted to organic companies certified by Skal.
The EKO Quality Mark is only allowed on products containing more than 95% organic ingredients. (And it’s bloody hard to get!! Boy, is my Momma proud!)
Ok, I know this ain’t one of those fancy clothing blogs but hey, lets face it, the ladies like it when you make an effort and look nice. “Donny”, my friends ask, “what makes the girls so wild for you”? I tell ‘em the ladies love to run their fingers through my curls—makes ‘em think of Justin in his early years! But seriously, we all know it’s my cookies they wanna get their hands on…
And so, it got me thinking…when I go to Biofach to launch my cookies, I need the focus to be on my cookies at all times, and not distract the crowds with my boyish good looks.
But how to do that?
Sweet Inspiration! A tee shirt that shares my message—one that I can wear and share!
I found a fantastic printer who works in organic water based inks to create these beauties—cause the planet is in enough trouble—why add to it for fashions sake?
I’m gonna share these* at Biofach—home of all things organic, and now you can own one of these vintage washed T-shirts made of white organic cotton too.
Hey, you’ll look great, the planet will be a better place cause you chose organic, and although I can’t help you be as irresistible as I am, if you offer a cookie to your cookie while wearing this beauty, you can’t go wrong. And at least you won’t go hungry!
Wow de biofach is like a dream to me now. Allready in a couple of weeks. From feb 16th till 19th.
One of those dreams where all the girls smile at you and eat your cookies and want your phone number and give you theirs, and you know they are actually gonna call you…and you don’t care that all they wanna talk about is your cookies, cause hey, that’s all you wanna talk about these days too (what the heck is wrong with you?!).
And the guys look at you kinda jealous, and then they eat a cookie, and then suddenly it’s all smiles, and slaps on backs, and they’re grabbing for your business card and stickers cause why hold a grudge when you can be part of ‘la Famiglia’–so fuhgeddaboutit–right?
And they ate.
And ate my cookies.
And they all asked about selling Donny Craves.
Not selling me, Donny, but the cookie Donny Craves. You know?
Hey, honest quality ingredients and a great recipe are all it takes…and a head of hair that would make Justin Timberlake weep.
So now I’m back in my kitchen working on a new organic goodie and letting my associate Rob take all the calls and emails that keep coming in from Austria, Finland, Spain, Bahrain, Sweden, Dubai, Ireland, Belgium, Canada, the UK, Denmark, Germany, The United States, Switzerland, France, The United Arab Emirates, Poland, Slovenia, Israel, and the Netherlands. Let him do the dirty work and decide whose gonna join the Donny Family and sell my treats–me, I’m really excited about an oatmeal cookie with cranberries I am working on–so tender and packed with flavor I can taste it already…
Wanna taste today?