site stats WhizGidget Wonders...
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
An Institution Passes...
...So many bankruptcies in this market, so many things disappearing. A local institution has shut it doors in light of bankruptcy filings, and it's making me rather sad.

For the locals and former locals, no it's not Mervyn's although it's sad to see that department store chain go away. It once was the mid-range to lower-upscale department store retailer until they got undercut by better inventory at Target and Kohl's. Mervyn's has been going down hill for some time. But this isn't about them, this is about something more important.

This is about Lemonade Coolers, and Iced Oatmeal Cookies and Circus Animal Cookies. This is about Mother's. Mother's Cookies is a 92 year old institution in the San Francisco Bay Area, and they shut their doors. Abruptly - citing rising raw materials and fuel costs, they closed their doors and have stopped making cookies.

This happened a couple of weeks ago (I found out in a food column in today's paper), so if you want those last packages of cookies you'd better head for the grocery store now. I know I'll be hitting one on the way home from a dentist appointment for A - just one more bag of iced Oatmeal and one more of Circus cookies before they're all gone.

I never really got the appeal of Mother's Cookies until I was in college. My mom didn't bake and we had Chips Ahoy in my household. Maybe I'd get a fresh cookie at Home Bakery when we'd pick up a pink Champagne cake and some eclairs (oh those eclairs!) for a birthday. But nothing home baked.

Then I went to college and someone handed me a Lemonade Cooler - the iced lemonade cookie - and I melted. It was soft and tasted so light. Then I had the iced oatmeal and it was all over. I was in love with a bagged cookie.

Most of you know that I love to bake. I've gotten really quite good at it, and I used to have people raving at workplaces about some of my cookies. I don't buy bagged mass produced cookies for at home either. Nor do I visit a bakery or buy cookies from a grocery bakery because I can make them myself. With the one exception of a random Mother's purchase maybe once a year. Because they're just that good and they bring back some happy memories.

I'm really quite sad to see it go, and to see that happen so quickly. I feel bad for the workers who were told just as abruptly that it's all over for them because the company has been operating at a loss due to the rising costs and the fact that they have to try and find a job in an increasingly frustrating climate to be searching. I know that, firsthand.

But what's really going to be hard? Breaking the news to my daughters.

A loves those pink and white Circus Animal cookies, and I'm going to hate breaking it to her when she comes home from school that Mother's is no more. I'm sure she and B will say something to the extent of me needing to figure out how to duplicate such a cookie with the icing and the sprinkles, and I'll probably give it a good college try.

But it won't be the same. It won't be that magical shiny purple and red package with the outdated but still cute 'Mother' on the top. The same magic just won't be there.

It'll have my own "mommy magic" as the family puts it, but it won't be "Mother's".