For nearly 30 years, The Cookie Mill has been one of Stanwood’s go-to spots for a sugar fix.
Word has it that the Stanwood bakery is a great place for soft and chewy cookies that taste like homemade. Earlier this week, I picked up a dozen to share back at the office.
Julie Sande, of Stanwood, opened The Cookie Mill in 1986 just off Highway 532 in Stanwood, offering fresh-baked cookies and muffins, as well as espresso. She closed the shop in 2007, but reopened it seven years later.
The bakery offers a dozen varieties of cookies, each costing $2.50: chocolate chip, peanut butter chocolate chip, mocha walnut, snickerdoodle, lemon doodle, oatmeal raisin, frosted molasses, oatmeal M&M, a gluten-free peanut butter, lavender doodle, orange doodle and s’more.
I brought one of each back to The Daily Herald for my colleagues to enjoy. Their favorites were the mocha walnut, lemon doodle and peanut butter cookies.
“It tastes the way it should,” digital news editor Chuck Taylor said of the peanut butter cookie. “The texture is nice and soft. It doesn’t crunch and crumble.”
News reporter Stephanie Davey liked the frosted lavender doodle most, which is a snickerdoodle made with lavender, though she said would have liked the frosting to have more lavender flavor.
“Lavender is one of my favorite flavors, so I wished it was a little bit stronger,” she said. “It was still delicious, though.”
Mocha walnut, a chocolate cookie with espresso cream cheese frosting, is one of the Cookie Mill’s most popular. It was a favorite of news reporter Julia-Grace Sanders.
“Eating this cookie made me immediately ask where it came from so I can get more,” she said.
I liked the lemon doodle best. The lemon frosting complemented the lemon snickerdoodle cookie.
Each cookie is made from Julie Sande’s original recipes dating back to 1986. She had her sister, nephew and niece taste-test each new recipe before adding it to the Cookie Mill menu.
As the Cookie Mill’s popularity grew, Sande added sandwiches, soups and salads to the menu. She also expanded the seating at her shop, from nine to 40.
I was told the Snowbird Nester ($12.50 whole, $8.25 half), a sandwich made with smoked turkey, cream cheese, cranberry, lettuce, red onion and tomato, is a best-seller. I ordered it with white bread; sandwiches also can be made with honey wheat, sourdough and marble rye bread.
The sandwich was delicious. It was like Thanksgiving between two slices of bread.
After 21 years running the shop on her own, Julie Sande retired from the bakery business and opened a vintage store called Poppyseed across the street with her cousin’s wife, Marybeth Sande. Three restaurants came and went after the Cookie Mill closed. Then, in 2014, when the building became available, Julie and Marybeth decided to reopen the Cookie Mill in its original location. Julie came out of bakery retirement.
“At that point, we had known each other forever,” said Marybeth Sande, a 1996 graduate of Stanwood High School. “We really felt like we were called to it. Everything fell into place.”
Marybeth Sande said that every once in a while, a customer craving a Cookie Mill treat will stop by and ask for Julie.
“They want to know if she’s still there because she’s so well-known,” Marybeth Sande said. “She’s still there, every day.”
Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.
If you go
The Cookie Mill, 9808 Highway 532, Stanwood, is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call 360-629-2362 or go to www.cookiemillstanwood.com for more information.