In a city known for its delectable patisseries, where shelves are lines with all manner of gateaux, éclairs, Religieuses, Millefeuille and tartes, Parisians have begun to develop a taste for American baked goods. First, the cupcake invaded the French capital, and now the beloved American cookie is finding its way into the hearts (and stomachs) of Parisians. And two American expats have been leading the charge.
Lindsey Tramuta, previously known for her award-winning Lost in Cheeseland blog, and her partner Chloe, launched Lola’s Cookies last year, offering those in Paris their own distinctive brand of sweetness. Lola’s treats are baked fresh and delivered to homes and offices around the city – including to visiting Americans and expats hungry for a taste of home. They share their passion in this interview with ParisienSalon.com.
Did you always like baking cookies?
Chloe: Yes, it’s one of my first baking memories – my mother letting me mix the chocolate chips into the dough and then getting to lick the spoon. I guess I love the fact that there are endless possible flavor combinations for cookies.
Lindsey: What American child didn’t, at some point, love getting to roll dough, mix in chocolate and butterscotch, watch them rise in the oven and have a sweet snack with a glass of ice cold milk? Yes, I have always loved baking cookies!
So, how did you come up with the idea for Lola’s Cookies, especially in a city that didn’t know the difference between chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin?
Chloe: When Lindsey and I met, we quickly bonded over our shared love of sweets and a nostalgia for home. Although we both love French desserts, we thought Paris was missing a really good cookie. So we started scheming and eventually we thought, why not? Let’s do it!
Who is your most frequent customer: American expats or the French?
Chloe: It’s a mix. We started off with mostly expat American and British customers but we are getting more and more orders from French clients.
What’s the typical French reaction to your cookies?
Chloe: They go nuts – many are skeptical about American desserts but they like cookies. But the cookies you get in your typical French bakery or supermarket are dry and bland. When they taste a real American cookie that is crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, they are floored.
How many varieties do you offer?
Lindsey: As of right now, we offer 8 cookie flavors and 2 bars (a brownie and a blondie). We will soon be revealing our Fall flavor (think: pumpkin!) and will post photos of some fun Halloween cookies we can do. Our winter flavor will undoubtedly be holiday-inspired. This allows us to always offer the basics and having something new for clients to anticipate each season!
What’s your personal favorite?
Lindsey: I love the peanut-butter chocolate chunk cookie because as most of my friends can attest, I’m fanatic about peanut-butter! It has a slightly crunchy exterior and a soft interior with amazing PB flavor. Even the Frenchies love them!
Chloe: – My favorite is the Chocolate Chip Madness. It’s a classic but ours is sooo good!
Do you have a store where people can go to buy your cookies?
Lindsey: We do not currently have a store and right now, that isn’t our focus. We love the arrangement we have now and really want to see how it can evolve as an online business. We take it a day at a time and as long as things continue progressing in the right direction as they are now, we won’t rule anything out.
Lindsey: A lot of it initially was word of mouth – friends of friends of friends – and that continues to drive business. But we also have had many clients find us on google! People who were searching for an American sweet fix for themselves or to offer as a gift, and stumbled upon our site. The feedback has been unbelievably positive in both cases. Twitter and Facebook as well as a few events that we have done (like the YELP! Anniversary party) have really helped to spread the word quickly as well.
Any plans for the future that you can tease?
Lindsey: Well, we’re currently in the process of exploring points of distribution and hope to make more and more limited edition flavors available. This will be our first holiday season as a business so we’ll see how Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas/Chanukah fare but my guess is we’ll have plenty of opportunities to get our cookies in more mouths between now and then!
Until then, come see us at Cupcake Camp on October 2nd. We’ll be bringing our own cookie-cupcake creation and donating a gift certificate for a box of cookies or brownies to the raffle!
Lindsey & Chloe are the Lola’s Cookies girls. Lola’s Cookies is an online American cookie company in Paris run by two American girls who create cookies, brownies and bars for those who crave a taste of home! For birthday parties, events or just because. Order online for delivery in all 20 arrondissements at www.lolas-cookies.com and follow them on Twitter@LolasCookies!