It’s not often in my search for all things chocolate that I look to the world of hip-hop. Okay, truthfully, I have never looked to the world of hip-hop for chocolate – but that was before I was introduced to Chipz Cookies! Luke Pascal, the son of restaurant businessman, Vincent Pascal, and his high school friend, Damon “Boogie” Dash, son of hip-hop mogul, Damon Dash, have teamed up to make the world a little sweeter…and it all started with music.
Luke and Boogie are barely in their 20’s but they already own a record label and have a successful start in the music production business. These young men started out with big music dreams, but they also had the foresight to realize they might need a little something extra to fund those dreams. Enter the cookie.
It started on New York’s Upper West Side at Columbus Bakery. When Luke and Boogie were kids they would stop by the bakery after school to bring home cookies. When the popular bakery closed, Luke’s dad – a restaurant financier – suggested the boys try selling the cookies on their own. Pastry Chef, Viko Ortega, who had been a partner with Luke’s dad for 30 years, declared the cookies the “best on the planet!”
Viko continued to bake the cookies after Columbus Bakery closed. Luke and Boogie decided to start selling them in the clubs where they were playing their music. In a clever marketing scheme, they hired a pretty girl to walk around the club selling the cookies – and sell they did. Every night. Every cookie. Gone.
These are smart young men, so it didn’t take them long to realize that if the cookies were disappearing that quickly they needed to offer them in more locations. They ventured out to Bryant Park in Manhattan and had an informal taste test with lucky park visitors. As expected the cookies were a hit and it was time to kick up the business a few notches.
“After taking the cookies out to Bryant Park and getting that kind of response from the general public, we knew that our idea could one day turn into something special. It just had to be implemented in the proper way. We began to brainstorm day in and day out, and we came up with the idea to create a character like Tony the Tiger or the Lucky Charm Leprechaun. We drew out sketches for a “Cookie Man”, and we even thought of using Mr.Toasty (the former mascot from Columbus Bakery) but that didn’t make much sense,” says Luke.
Eventually they settled on a chubby cheeked chipmunk they named “Gooby” – after a mutual friend who apparently has a striking resemblance to a chipmunk.
At the beginning of this year Gooby started appearing with Chipz Cookies in Fairway Markets across Manhattan. Just last week, Chipz Cookies popped up in Zabars and this is only the beginning. Chipz are currently available in four flavors and, of course, a couple of those are chocolate. You can satisfy your chocolate craving with Chipz’ chocolate chip cookies or the crowd-pleasing favorite, Blackout – made from Belgian dark and white chocolate. They are also available in peanut butter and ginger.
Gooby lives in the land of Chipz and will eventually be the star of a comic book. His goal is to be a positive role model to kids. There are other plans in the works for this fast growing company with the introduction of celebrity cookies and videos in support of Chipz. Here’s a first look at the video of the making of Chipz Cookies produced by Luke and Boogie.
These are talented young men with a broad vision – and they are on my “chocolate watch list” for 2013. You can follow Chipz Cookies on Twitter @Chipzcookies or “like” them on Facebook. And, of course, you can learn more about Chipz Cookies at www.chipzcookies.com.
We’ll be checking back with them later this year to see what Gooby, Luke and Boogie are up to in the land of Chipz – how could we not?