Chloe Stinetorf is the New York City cookie fairy. Each month, her company Chloe Doughy delivers two tubs of cookie dough to apartments and offices across Manhattan and in parts of Brooklyn. And while she doesn’t fly with sparkly wings to make deliveries, her staff can be found riding around on Citi Bikes. In return for her delectable service, all she asks is that New Yorkers focus on the important part of baking: being with friends and family. Of course, Chloe also wants bakers to enjoy all the fun that comes from scooping dough, eagerly waiting as the cookies bake, and that first fresh-out-of-the-oven bite.
Thanks to Chloe Doughy’s membership delivery service, New Yorkers—who want to bake at midnight, need cookies for their children’s school, or have to prepare dessert for that last minute-dinner party—can now bake without the hassle.
Over iced teas in Chelsea, 6sqft spoke with Chloe and learned how Chloe Doughy is changing the way the city bakes cookies.
How long has Chloe Doughy been around?
Chloe: We are almost at our first anniversary. I started working on the company in April 2013, and we have been open for business since September 2013.
What inspired you to start Chloe Doughy?
Chloe: I love baking. It was a big part of my own childhood. I baked all the time with my family, especially my mother and grandmother. I learned a lot and continue to learn a lot from my grandmother. Whenever I visit her, we make pizzelle cookies with one of those old irons. She teaches me interesting techniques. She’s from a different generation. It’s fun to work on a recipe with her because we bring different backgrounds to the table.
I wanted to create a company where there would be a community around baking. I know in my own life I make time for baking, but I noticed a lot of my friends who love to bake don’t really have time. It’s hard to always go to the store and pick up groceries, but I think when people do make time for baking, it’s something that is joyful and fun. So, my idea was to help New Yorkers bake on a regular basis without the hassle. I envisioned it as a service that would help young people, couples, and specifically families. I’m very happy when I see customers are baking with their kids, and that the kids get excited.
How does the Chloe Doughy’s membership work?
Chloe: It’s a monthly membership. Once you join, we deliver the dough the third week of every month. We have a couple different options. You can join for the recurring monthly membership, or we have gift memberships of 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. As far as gifts, we have had several wedding gifts. One was for an entire year, and the couple loved it.
We’re also very flexible. We have one member who keeps the dough some months, while other months she has it sent to friends with a handwritten note for a birthday, baby shower, housewarming, or when someone has a new job.
In addition to classic chocolate chip dough you offer a ‘Cookie of the Month’. How do you select the month’s cookie?
Chloe: When I was doing research for Chloe Doughy, everyone said chocolate chip cookies were their favorite, but I loved the idea of giving people variety. So, I came up with the idea of there being two flavors each month.
I’m usually working on four to five recipes at a time. I’ll start with an ingredient I’m interested in highlighting and see how to best incorporate it. I sort of build the recipe out from there. There’s always a connection with the time of year. In January, we did the Maple Snowball Cookie. We used pure Vermont Maple Syrup, and it tied into the month and season. In July, we did strawberries, which were in season.
Do you deliver the dough yourself?
Chloe: I hire people to deliver, but it’s not uncommon to open your door and find Chloe Doughy herself delivering your dough.
To how many neighborhoods do you deliver?
What method of transportation do you use for deliveries?
Chloe: It’s kind of a mix of transportation methods. Some of the deliveries we walk directly from our production facility. For others, we rent a Zip Car, and we’ve been known to use Citi Bike. You name it, we’ve done it. We might start using bicycle rickshaws. I would love to go this route because there is no carbon footprint, and we are a green company. We like people to reuse our boxes, so we don’t stamp them with our logo, but rather do a bow with a tag. A lot of our members also reuse our plastic pint containers. They are recyclable, but they’re also this really nice plastic with a lid like a piece of Tupperware.
During the third week of the month, how do you handle all the deliveries?
Chloe: We deliver Monday through Friday of that week. We organize it so that there are three Manhattan days, one Brooklyn day, and then Friday is called “The Drop Off Day.” The delivery window is 8-5 on Friday, so a lot of people who work in offices go for that. A lot of our members have doormen, so they’ll put it in refrigerated storage.
Are certain neighborhoods ordering more Chloe Doughy than others?
Chloe: There is really no one neighborhood; it’s been very steady. We have as many downtown members as uptown members. We’ve seen a lot of growth with young families, especially in Park Slope and the Upper West and East Sides.
In addition to dough, deliveries come with frosting, sprinkles, and other goodies when the recipe calls for it
You rent commercial space. How did you find it?
Chloe: The space is in Nolita. It’s called City Grit. They’re sort of a supper club. They do dinners and have chefs that come in from out of town. I rent space from Sarah Simmons [founder and chef of City Grit] since they only do dinners half the nights of the month.
You also teach cookie classes. Where do you teach?
Chloe: I teach classes at a couple of different locations. I teach classes at the Bowery Culinary Center at Whole Foods. I also do birthday parties. This weekend I’m doing a five-year-old’s Alice in Wonderland-themed party on the Upper West Side. Our custom-baking parties can be at someone’s apartment or a space we rent.
What’s a common mistake novice bakers make with cookies?
Chloe: People think they can make substitutions when they can’t. Baking is much more scientific than cooking. It’s very precise. Baking soda and baking powder are different. Sometimes people think those are interchangeable, but they are not. People will also think, “Oh, it’s fine. I don’t have enough flour so I will add a different type of flour.”
One thing people do all the time is microwave butter when they don’t have time to let it come to room temperature, and that creates a different type of consistency with the dough. A lot of people ask about that at classes.
Chloe teaching a class at the Bowery Culinary Center
If you could select a cookie that epitomizes New York, which one would it be?
Chloe: I’m tempted to say the chocolate chip cookie because it’s a classic favorite. It can be done in so many interesting ways just the same way we are all New Yorkers even though we’re interesting and different. Maybe the second New York favorite is the black and white. There are actually a lot of cookies that I feel are New York; New York is a foodie culture.
What’s the yummiest part of your job?
Chloe: I would definitely say recipe invention. It involves a lot of tasting. Sometimes when I have been working on a recipe, I’ve made 25 different versions of the cookie. So, as you can imagine, there is a lot of sampling. It’s fun to be around cookies. It’s a happy product. It makes people happy.
Website: Chloe Doughy
Photos courtesy of Chloe Doughy
[This interview has been edited]