BUXTON, Maine — Freshman Maggie Cook loves to bake but decided during this past long, isolating winter to bake sweets as a way to satisfy more than just her sweet tooth.
Maggie had some extra time on her hands this last winter because the Bonny Eagle student wasn't playing any sports. Her mother, Rhonda, thought it would be a good idea to keep her daughter from being idle. She was inspired by a Mainer living in Chicago, Ben Berman, who had started making pizza during the pandemic and giving it away for donations only that he then gave charities to fight hunger. His venture called 'Good Pizza' made national headlines in part because of the unique way in which he delivered it to customers; by lowering them from the window of his apartment.
"I thought we could do something like that but with cookies," says Rhonda Cook. Maggie was game and 'Cookie Love 207' was born. Maggie got in the kitchen and started baking giant chocolate chip cookies in springform pans. The recipe is a classic - the same one that's on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse package but how she is selling them is unique.
The cookies are free, but people are welcome to donate. All the proceeds from the giant cookies are given to charities that Maggie has selected. Maggie's mother Rhonda took to Facebook to spread the word and much to Maggie's surprise the orders started rolling in.
"I really thought it was just going to be a couple of people ordering like my mom's friends," says Maggie.
So far she's raised more than $5,000 for three non-profits - The Barbara Bush Children's Hospital, The Good Shepherd Food Bank, and the Maine Cancer Foundation.
"A lot of people have been struggling through Covid and they might not have someone to lean on, they might not have a support but if they are going to the Good Shepherd Food Bank it gives them more of an opportunity to get what they need," says Maggie.
Maggie's made 176 cookies to date. She never doubles a recipe and doesn't use a mixer, preferring to do it by hand. In an hour she can bake six cookies. At the beginning of her 'Cookie Love 207' her parents said they would pay for the ingredients but as the price of supplies started to add up, friends, family, and neighbors stepped up donating eggs, sugar, flour, and boxes which Maggie meticulously decorates.
The outpouring of support has been so overwhelming, Maggie had to enable a cut-off because more people wanted cookies than she could make. The teenager has no plans to quit. Her next batch of cookies will go up for sale sometime at the end of the school year and all the proceeds will go to the Preble Street Resource Center.