Oh man, we can’t even begin to tell you how much we loved Sweet Mae’s. We had the opportunity to sample their cookies about a week ago, and we legit killed them within a day or two…and that was us exercising self-control.
Stuffed with all kinds of magical goodness, these sweets are so tasty, you’ll be itching to order more the second you take a bite. But before we get into our personal favorites, the founder graciously agreed to answer some questions for us. So without further ado, let’s dive into this fun Q&A.
Tell us about Sweet Mae’s! How did you guys get started?
Sweet Mae is a premium stuffed cookie company with a southern accent. I come from a southern family that loves to cook and bake. The company is named after my great-grandmother, Fannie “Mae”.
It all started with Mama Clara five generations back. Mama Clara is Mae’s mother-in-law. Clara made the best biscuits in the south by hand, all without a measuring utensil. Not a soul could recreate. My great-grandmother, Fannie Mae, was known for her cooking, her baking – and for her tendency to add a splash of Kentucky Bourbon into her dishes. She also made the best cakes. My mom and her cousins always reminisce about how good their grandmother’s cooking and desserts were.
Mae raised her children, Linda among them, my grandmother, on a farm in Kentucky, where they grew ingredients, raised farm animals, and created cherished recipes. My earliest food memories are making griddle cakes with my grandparents and watching my grandmother sift, whisk, and frost southern desserts. Among lots of southern desserts, my grandmother is awesome at making Homemade Banana Pudding.
Would you believe me when I say we eat Banana Pudding warm? Yes, you read that correct. My grandmother bakes her banana pudding. Don’t knock it until you try it! My family doesn’t like cold banana pudding. My mom is a beast at Sweet Potato Pies. I grew up watching my family cook and bake together. That expression of love is a family heirloom that has been passed down through the generations, one that Sweet Mae’s Cookie Co. hopes to preserve.
Do you have experience working in the food and beverage industry?
I actually worked for a cookie company only as a seasonal hire. I had been working on my idea for about 6 years. I went back and forth with ideas and how I wanted to execute my business. When I finally decided I was going to roll out with cookies, I wanted to make sure this was something I truly wanted and could do.
A local cookie shop was hiring seasonal workers and I applied. I got the job to learn how a cookie shop was operated. I learned a lot. I worked the night shift, so I measured out the dough, packed orders and helped any way that the bakery needed. It was a cool and fun experience to learn first hand how a cookie shop was ran on a day to day basis.
What’s the food scene like in Cincinnati?
I love the food scene in the Queen City. It is forever growing and I am certainly not complaining about it. Before COVID, Cincinnati was no stranger to up and coming restaurants. There were new restaurants opening monthly.
Being a foodie, it was such an exciting experience. While COVID has hit, it is not stopping new concepts from opening. It has slowed the progression down a bit but did not make any plans come to a complete halt. You can find many cuisines in Cincinnati such as Soul Food, Korean, Mexican, Italian, Puerto Rican, New Orleans Comfort Food, and many more. The food scene has and is continuing to grow!
Do you have any favorite dessert places in the area?
Yes, my favorite dessert place in the area is Brown Bear Bakery. Brown Bear offers a selection of homemade baked goods + pastries with a very rustic, modern approach. They are a beast in the flakey pastry game. Some of my favorite items from them are their Lemon Bars, Shortbread Cookies, Savory Croissants, Cinnamon Rolls, and their Pound Cake Slices.
Have you always been passionate about baking?
I think I have always had an interest in baking. However, it wasn’t until I left home in 2012 that I took a serious interest in baking. I even took the Wilton Cake Decorating classes. From there, as they say, the rest is history.
How many different flavors do you offer, and do you have a personal favorite?
We currently offer 10 flavors. The flavors are based off of flavors that I grew up on in the south or have developed a love for as an early adult in my 20s. I plan to roll out with 5 more and then that will conclude my line.
I don’t have plans to constantly create tons of flavors. I will introduce 5 more southern flavors. From there our concept will be to sell those 15 flavors and grow our business off of those flavors. My favorite flavors are our Oreo Red Velvet Cheesecake, Carrot Cake, and Lemon White Chip Cookies.
How long did it take you to perfect your cookie recipe/s? Are your creations original or were they passed down to you?
This is a good question. As I mentioned earlier, I had been working on a dessert line idea for about 6 years. I actually started with cookies, changed my idea a few times, and ended back with cookies.
My husband always encouraged me to do cookies from the very beginning. I have been working with cookies for years, but got serious about it in Jan 2020. This all happened in between me also having two babies. I did take some time off while having kids but ultimately, I think cookies was always God’s plan for me.
What makes your sweets so special?
What makes our sweets so special is our delicious homemade cookies are made with an all brown butter dough. What is brown butter? Glad you asked! Lol! Brown Butter has a toasty and nutty taste not found in regular butter.
It is regular butter that has been cooked a tiny bit past the melting point, to toast the milk solids found in butter. This creates the magical nutty flavor that you just won’t get with regular butter. Also, let’s not forget our cookies are stuffed with yummy goodness like Cookie Butter, Nutella, Cream Cheese and more.
What are your goals for the future? Do you plan on opening a brick and mortar post COVID?
My goal for this cookie line for the future is to expand into stores and grow to become a well known brand. We have mentioned having a brick-and-mortar in the future but not at this current time. However, we never know what the future holds!
A big thanks to Tiff for answering these questions for us. We couldn’t be more excited to support her, and trust us when we say her cookies are an absolute must. Our personal favorites were as follows:
- Rainbow Sprinkle Celebration: vanilla brown butter dough stuffed with cookie butter and chocolate chips.
- Sea Salt Chocolate Chunk: vanilla brown butter dough filled with Nutella and topped with sea salt.
- S’more: vanilla brown butter dough filled with chocolate ganache.
- White Chip Macadamia Nut: vanilla brown butter dough topped with macadamia nuts, white chocolate and sea salt.
Their staple flavors are rainbow sprinkle, sea salt chocolate chunk, lemon white chip, and their seasonal flavor, caramel apple crumble. You can purchase packs of four or get an assortment featuring one of each! They’re priced at $26 – about $6-7 bucks per cookie – which is steep…but still totally worth the splurge because these are stupid good. Try it for yourself and see what the hype’s all about.
Alright friends, that’s a wrap for today. We hope you enjoyed reading all about Sweet Mae’s! Let us know what you think of her noms when you try ’em, and make sure to check back soon for more delish food recs. We update Nomtastic Foods daily so there’s always something new to see! Until next time, friends. Happy eating!