Ask Tiffany Lewis, and she'll tell you three things make a cookie truly great.
"It has to chew incredible, it has to taste like nothing you've ever tasted and it has to look like nothing you've ever seen," said Lewis, owner and Chief Cookie Officer of Cookies With Tiffany.
Lewis and her team aim to deliver on those three essential elements with every cookie they bake.
"Cookies With Tiffany is really all about bringing people together through food, specifically cookies," said Lewis. "We're kind of a lean, mean cookie machine here."
Based in Seattle, Cookies With Tiffany is a multi-faceted cookie business. They ship cookies nationwide, sell them at local farmers markets and sell them fresh out of the oven at their bakeshop in Madrona.
"I think there's nothing better than a freshly baked cookie. It's just the ultimate, and we only want to serve the ultimate," said Lewis.
While Lewis has a full-blown production kitchen a short distance away, her tiny bakeshop, just a couple hundred square feet, is the realization of a dream she's had since childhood.
"I remember as a child saying to my parents, I'd love to have a cookie shop one day," recalled Lewis. "I remember my mom said, 'That's really sweet. Why don't we go to school, get your degree and then maybe one day you can have your cookie shop?' Well, mom, look at me now!"
To be fair, Lewis did do those things her mom wanted. After college, she was working in corporate marketing in Ohio, baking for co-workers on the weekends, when she decided to make a change and go to culinary school. That led to an internship with celebrity chef Curtis Stone.
"I remember that phone call to this day. I get a phone call, and they say Curtis Stone is interested in an intern. Can you meet with him tomorrow? So, that was really the journey forward. From there, we were off on book tours. We went to Australia together. We did live shows together. I did food styling for him. I helped with R&D and production in the kitchen," said Lewis.
Lewis worked for Stone for more than two years and freelanced for other notable names, including Giada De Laurentiis, before returning home to the Pacific Northwest to build her cookie business.
"I kind of obsess over the science behind the perfect cookie. So, I went to my kitchen and developed cookies. I had a base cookie recipe, and that's something I worked on for years. I've had that since I was probably in middle school, and it just evolved from there," explained Lewis.
Cookies With Tiffany offers classic flavors, seasonal specials, even gluten-free options, all made with high-quality ingredients. But, if you're going to try just one, Lewis recommends the s'more cookie.
"I mean, it's ooey-gooey delicious. How can you resist that decadent, classic, nostalgic s'more cookie?" said Lewis with a smile.
It's not just a tasty treat. A percentage of sales from the s'more cookie goes to Swedish Cancer Institute, while the popular celebration cookie benefits children receiving treatment at Seattle Children's Hospital.
"It gives me so much joy to be able to give back," said Lewis. "When customers come into the bakeshop, and they buy my cookies, that's one little thing I can do to give back to the community. I want to do it."
While her cookies are, of course, delicious, Lewis hopes each bite will evoke the sweetest memories.
"When people try our cookies, I really want them to taste home, community and nostalgia. I really want them to taste that memory of coming together with family and friends."