Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth with some giant candy-filled cookies, but you don't want to leave the couch? How about ordering them online and having them delivered to your door? A local couple recently launched Suncoast Cookies, which delivers unique cookie flavors and custom orders around the Sarasota and Bradenton area.
"I started baking cookies for my students, who were so excited, and said I should start a business," says Amanda Duever, a Sarasota elementary school teacher. "I continued making cookies for family and friends, and we did lots of research by trying out all the best cookies in the area."
Duever says she and her husband, Corey, have always loved food, and have eaten plenty of great cookies, but haven't had much luck getting cookies shipped and delivered. "They aren't always fresh, they're sometimes broken and the cost of shipping can add up," says Duever.
That's when the idea for Suncoast Cookies began. Duever started an online shop and Instagram account two months ago, featuring photos of her gooey, decadent cookies, and giving customers delivery day and time options. Each small batch consists of about eight or nine cookies, with a dough-making process that takes about four hours. Duever delivers them the day they are made, Wednesday through Saturday, to ensure they stay fresh.
The most popular cookies so far have been the "Siesta Key," a sugar cookie coated with rainbow sprinkles and filled with buttercream, and the "The Black Pearl," a dark chocolate cookie filled with Oreos, chocolate chips and creamy marshmallow fluff. Other flavors include "Shiver Me Timbers," a brown sugar cookie mixed with chopped Snickers bars and Guittard chocolate chips, and "Plant City Romance," a pink strawberry cookie with white chocolate chips.
"I get my recipe ideas from sweets that I love, which is how I got inspired to fill some cookies, too," says Duever. "Some of my favorite sweets have filling in the middle."
Customers can order up to two dozen cookies, and can put in custom orders on the website, choosing their own flavors, mix-ins and even custom cookie names. Duever tries to limit the amount of inventory on the website, giving herself enough time to bake and prep new orders. The couple delivers the cookies themselves.
Word of mouth has boosted Suncoast Cookies' business, as have irresistible-looking photos Duever posts on the company's Instagram account, @suncoastcookies.
"Sometimes our most popular cookie will depend on what photo we posted that day or week," says Duever. In the last week, Duever has made more than 100 cookies, and orders aren't slowing down.
Cookies cost $5 each; deliveries within 10 miles are free. Delivery prices range from $5-$8 beyond the 10-mile radius. A pick-up option is also available from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Fridays.
The company has also been making cookie donations each month. Last month, the Duevers delivered to a group of nurses at a local medical center, and plan to give to returning school teachers next month.
"We are always looking for ways to use this business to do something nice," says Duever. "Food brings feelings of happiness, and it's nice to feel thought about, especially during this time."
Suncoast Cookies is an online-only shop. Order here and choose among the delivery or pick-up options, or call (620) 245-4585.