Stepping into the newly opened The Cookie Shop it’s immediately clear that there’s an acute attention to detail being paid there.
Everything from the metal light fixtures that hang from the ceiling to the chic pink seats at each table have been carefully selected present a sense of sophistication in the Centereach store.
Existing fans of The Cookie Shop from its early days as an online and social media business might see a throughline from the meticulousness in the décor of the brick and mortar space to the precision with which the treats have always been prepared. For the unfamiliar, The Cookie Shop’s baked wonders, prepared at the Stony Brook University business incubator in Calverton, are works of art that are as pleasing to the palate as they are the eye.
And now they have a place to call home.
“Last week was crazy busy,” said shop owner Stephanie Knorzer of her first few days in business. “We had a good flow of people and it’s been much busier than we even thought it would be.”
For Knorzer, who launched the business almost three years ago through her growing @thecookieshopli Instagram, walking into the new storefront each day there’s a sense of satisfaction of reaching a childhood dream.
Raised in Southern California, she grew up wanting to be a baker and studied culinary arts and hospitality management at the Art Institute of California in Los Angeles. Her career began in corporate restaurant management, a path she followed to Westchester in 2013, before moving with her husband and eldest daughter to his native Long Island two years later.
Knorzer envisions The Cookie Shop serving as an event space and a place to both grab a quick snack or pickup orders. The store features 11 flavors of macarons and an assortment of tea cookies and cookie sandwiches — a pair of cookies with a layer of cream between them. (We highly recommend the chocolate chip with vanilla as well as the pistachio rose macaron.) You can also order special occasion treats online, including birthday tart cakes and macaron wedding favors. She’s currently featuring a selection of Easter treats as well.
The shop’s first event is planned for Wednesday, April 7 in a partnership with Hometown Flower Co. During the 90-minute workshop, which will observe COVID-19 guidelines, guests will learn to make a floral arrangement while enjoying snacks and beverages. Over time she hopes to partner with more fellow local business owners, and long term she’d like to open additional shops, including a location on the North Fork.
Knorzer said plans for the first store began about a year ago and they decided on location and started construction this January.
The need for the shop became apparent as business picked up during the pandemic. She believes people having smaller gatherings allowed them to splurge on treats like the ones she bakes.
“Everyone started doing smaller parties and it took off,” she said of what happened to her pickup and delivery business last spring. “That was my busiest time because people started doing small intimate parties and they couldn’t have these giant [events.]”
Knorzer said the secret to her success in the kitchen is in how her recipes don’t over rely on sugar. She prefers savory to sweet and prepares her treats in a way that makes other ingredients pop.
“The flavors in the fillings stand out more because [the recipes are] ingredient focused rather than just sugar focused,” Knorzer said.
She hopes that when you bite into, say, one of her chocolate chip cookies, beyond that initial sensation of sweetness, you’ll notice the salt and notes of butter. “I want it to be like an orchestra, a symphony of flavors,” she said.
North Fork winery lovers might have already tried her macarons at Croteaux Vineyards where after working an event she was invited to regularly supply them with the cookies.
If you purchase a box of macarons at the new shop, it comes with a care card. “Macarons are best enjoyed at room temperature the day of,” the instructions begin.
It’s a perfect touch at a shop where the details are always important.
The Cookie Shop is currently open from Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is located at 115 Mark Tree Road, Suite 6 in Centereach.