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Detroit cookie business founder opens shop in childhood neighborhood

Good Cookies aims to bring people joy with traditional cookies
Posted at 12:17 PM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 12:17:09-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — A Detroit cookie business that was born out of a way to de-stress now has a new storefront right in the neighborhood where the owner grew up.

Welcome to Good Cookies— where the popularity of the confections is evident by the door that seems to regularly keep swinging open, at least it did when we were there on a random Thursday afternoon.

"I think the name of the business should be great cookies," said Ellis Mendenhall, who tells us he stops in every week to get some tasty baked goods.

The business is the culmination of the vision and talent of lifelong Detroiter Jeffrey Gisstennar.

"It started out as like kind of a life preserver, because doing real estate, it just was so stressful at the time when the market crashed, and I would come home and ... just bake," he said.

But good cookies don’t stay secret for long, and he said it was his wife who nudged him to make it official.

"When I started baking five, six dozen a week, and she was taking them to work for free and people were requesting the cookies, she said, 'we need to do something here,'" said Jeffrey.

And while the official business kicked off in 2013, Jeffrey said he opened his first brick and mortar last summer in the North Rosedale Park neighborhood, where he grew up.

"My mom is about ten blocks to the to the west ... I rode my bike through these streets forever, you know," he said.

One of his customers while we were there was Brandon Blake from Jacksonville, Florida.

"I don't care where I'm at ... anywhere in Michigan, every single time, I'm coming to Detroit to get these cookies," said Brandon.

And what is it about his cookies that has people stopping by — even when they live out of state?

Well Jeffrey wants to make it clear, it’s not because of fruit loops.

"I am a traditional cookie baker, so I don't put puddings and fruit loops and things like that in my cookies," he said.

From sugar lemon zest, to chocolate chip, to peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodle and more — the razzle dazzle is in the execution.

"What gives me joy is when I get a senior come in here and eat a cookie and say, 'this reminds me of my mother's cookies,'" he said.

But while the cookies bring people in, the sense of community makes them stay. Jeffrey said his plan is to open up a patio space this summer, inviting people to do movie nights, skate nights and more.

"This community over in North Rosedale is just the best ... I love them," he said.

Currently Good Cookies is open Thursday through Saturday. For a closer look at their cookies, click here.