MARENGO — Whether it’s Christmas, Valentine’s Day or any other day of the year, people just love cookies … especially kids. And nothing beats a great-tasting cookie when it is being made to help feed hungry children. That’s the idea behind Geneveen’s Gourmet Cookies, founded in August 2015 by Mike Chrisman.
Chrisman grew up in Homer and currently has family in Marengo and Heath. He has spent many years living in Queens, N.Y., until recently spending time in Marengo to take care of family members. He graduated from the Licking County Joint Vocational School in 1982 with a certificate in culinary and restaurant management.
“We wanted to do something that would be helpful to kids,” said Chrisman as the concept of Geneveen’s Gourmet Cookies was born. Geneveen’s recipes come from Chrisman’s grandmother, Olive Chrisman, who lived in Homer, and the name Geneveen comes from Chrisman’s fiancee.
“These recipes are nearly 100 years old,” said Chrisman. “They are unique. It’s not like just baking cookies. They’re unique with some of the spice that is used and the way the dough is mixed … they really are different.”
Chrisman has contracted with a facility in central Ohio to bake his cookies which he then has distributed to numerous retail outlets. Cookies currently being baked are chocolate chunk, peanut butter, old-fashioned sugar and a Valentine’s Day cookie.
Cookies can be purchased locally at the Town Center Market at 600 W. High St. and 674 N. Sandusky St. in Mount Vernon. Currently, 10 percent of the cookie sales is going to Children’s Hunger Alliance with more groups expected to be added.
“The more we make, the more we can sell,” said Chrisman who also plans to take cookies that don’t sell to Interchurch Social Services. He also plans to take 1,000 Valentine’s Day cookies with him back to New York soon which he wants to give to children on Times Square.
And while this may be a business venture, Chrisman sees it as a prime importance in being able to help hungry children.
“This is the heart of the business, the permanent mission of the business,” said Chrisman. “No kid should ever have to go hungry. There’s just no excuse for it.” He is also working with an organization in New York called “No Kid Hungry NYC.”
For more information, visit Geneveen’s Gourmet Cookies on Facebook.