More than 5,000 People Expected to Attend Lawrenceville Cookie Tour
Oct 30, 2015 03:09PM ● Published by North Hills Monthly magazine
A certain furry blue monster should book travel arrangements now for Lawrenceville’s 16th annual Joy of Cookies cookie tour Dec. 3-6. This year, 40 small-business owners will share cookies and recipes with shoppers in the free, family-friendly event that takes place throughout the neighborhood’s commercial corridor.
Maps, available at Lawrenceville businesses starting in mid-November, will list store hours, direct shoppers to participating shops, and suggest spots for taking meal or drink breaks. Shopkeepers will later place gingerbread signs with coordinating numbers in their storefronts.
“The goal is to showcase the business district of Butler Street and to promote people shopping at independent businesses and exploring a neighborhood that maybe they haven’t visited before,” said Moira Egler, Lawrenceville Corporation commercial district coordinator. The cookie tour draws increasing crowds each year, and Egler says that she expects 5,000 attendees at the upcoming event.
“My business definitely benefitted from the cookie tour, through increased traffic and word of mouth—people know that my business is here and that I do a unique product,” said Bernadette Gerbe, owner of Gerbe Glass and a cookie tour participant since she first opened her flame-worked glass shop two years ago.
While store owners are supposed to offer only homemade cookies, they may outsource the baking to others, and they are encouraged to vary their recipes each year. In the past, guests have sampled unique cookie flavors such as chai gingerbread, Earl Grey shortbread, orange macadamia nut, toffee almond, walnut truffle and white chocolate raspberry.
“Last year, I baked a cream cheese-spritz cookie. It’s a family recipe that my mom always made when we were little,” said Gerbe, who baked the Christmas tree and wreath-shaped cookies in advance and froze them. “I think what’s recommended is 40 to 50 dozen, but I made more than that. I’m not even really sure, off the top of my head, how many I did.”
In preparation for the four-day event, many shop owners will stock up on seasonal gift items and decorations; for example, City Grows garden center and Cavacini Landscaping & Supply sold wreaths and other pine decorations during past cookie tours. Likewise, some businesses offer special promotions; Gerbe plans to discount 10 percent off purchases of more than $50.
Molly’s Trolleys will provide transit along Butler Street from noon to 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5, and Busy Beaver at 4743 Plummer Street will also grant cookie tour guests free parking that same day.