X

Subscribe to Kosher Like Me weekly newsletter so you won't miss a thing.
We promise that it's painless and we'll NEVER share your info.

EST. 2011 BY LIZ RUEVEN
2 Family Owned Cookie Companies & Why We’re Sweet on Them

2 Family Owned Cookie Companies & Why We’re Sweet on Them

Katy Morris

Recently, we spent an exhilarating morning munching handmade cookies and chatting with food entrepreneurs in an inconspicuous “incubator” right in our own backyard here in CT. We had just read an article in the NYTimes about a similar space (in Queens, NY) and were prompted to finally check out what is happening with two companies we’ve admired for quite some time. We had tasted their healthy treats in local shops but wanted to get closer to the baking action.

So, we headed up I-95 to Bridgeport where Sustainable Indulgence and Biscotti Bites churn out their irresistible cookies. We wanted to know more about these family owned businesses which value sustainability and community, use only the best locally sourced ingredients, and…wait for it…have kosher certifications!

When Liz and I approached the Bridgeport Trade & Technology Center  we marveled at this enormous complex and wondered how many food start-ups were creating product in this unassuming, off-the-beaten industrial building? Amazingly, the warehouse-like facility houses 60+ tenants, from local artists and manufacturers to food innovators.

We were thrilled to bump into our friend Mario at Tea-riffic, a neighbor to both Sustainable Indulgence and Biscotti Bites, and to learn that Empire Breads and White Oak Farm & Table also call the place home. Barefoot & Chocolate is moving in soon, too.

 

Biscotti Bites

 

Biscotti Bites team Dina and Ralph
Biscotti Bites team Dina and Ralph

This little community of local food start-ups began with the Bites Company, we learned. We had no trouble finding them on the fifth floor as an intoxicating lemony aroma permeating the wide hallways and lured us right in.

Biscotti Bites bounced from one rented kitchen to the next until they realized the popularity of their bite-size product meant they needed a serious upgrade. Dina Upton and her partner, Ralph, walked into an enormous, raw space in this industrial Bridgeport building and envisioned their future.

Get Bitten
Get Bitten

The area lies within an urban enterprise zone, aimed at promoting economic growth, and they knew they’d fit right in. Today, the kitchen, with its bright orange graffiti splashed walls shouting words of inspiration like “dream”, is where the magic happens, and Dina couldn’t be happier (and more productive). Knowing other budding, local companies like hers were struggling to find a functional and accessible workplace, she spread the word and before she knew it, there was a mini neighborhood of like-minded food producers moving onto their floor.

They even lend one another ingredients if they need it and stand by a firm “no waste” policy.

We love that.

Dina, Biscotti Bites
Dina, Biscotti Bites

Dina has been making biscotti for her family for ages, but a pivotal life juncture is what finally nudged her to turn her baking talent into a booming business. Every day, she and Ralph arrive at 8am, focus on one flavor, then in seamless synchronicity, measure and mix, cut, bake, cool, bake, cool, package, seal and ship – yep, just the two of them. Baking 40 trays at a time in the biggest oven we’d ever seen, we were amazed they can pump out 84 cases (12 bags a case, each holding 40-45 biscotti bites) in a given day.

mixer

Biscotti Bites

That’s molti biscotti!

 The perfectly round biscotti bites are crisp and light and come in almond, lemon and cocoa flavors. They are certified (dairy) kosher; an important gesture of trust Dina wanted to offer her customers. These biscotti bites are handmade using all natural, locally sourced ingredients, soy free, and are oh, so delicious. At a mere 12 calories per cookie these are a win-win all around.

 

Liz with Dina, owner of Biscotti Bites
Liz with Dina, owner of Biscotti Bites

“Get bitten” in nationwide stores or shop online.

 

Sustainable Indulgence

father/daughter team at Sustainable Indulgence
father/daughter team at Sustainable Indulgence

 

Run by an endearing, entrepreneurial father-daughter duo in a 2,500 square feet space down the hall, Sustainable Indulgence offers just that – a sustainable treat. Mark Feldman is the son of a kosher butcher whose evolution from a young and talented chef at Manhattan’s top restaurants to head chef at health-food mogul Mrs. Greens was just the beginning. Now, he’s a  passionate food creator who raised his children on only the best, healthful cuisine, just like the cookies they sell today.

Remy Feldman, a lifelong vegan with a keen business eye and law degree, recognized the potential for healthy cookie alternatives during a babysitting gig when her charges loved what she had baked for them.  She has helped grow this small startup to a rapidly growing, customer-responsive company that pumps out five super food packed cookie varieties and a new line of high protein bites. We love that the rest of the family helps out, too: siblings with demos and shipping; mom with graphic design.

 

handmade at Sustainable Indulgence
handmade at Sustainable Indulgence

So what about the product?

The perfectly round, small cookies are crunchy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside – a father-daughter texture compromise. They are dense, filling, and allow you to indulge guilt-free.

In fact, each flavor is filled with nutritious additions like hemp protein, Peruvian Lucuma powder, and flax seed. Each cookie is gluten free, vegan, certified kosher, soy free, low sodium, dairy-free, cholesterol free, preservative free, made with locally sourced ingredients where possible, and do not contain any GMOs.

Phew. They sure hit all the marks!

 

handmade at Sustainable Indulgence
handmade at Sustainable Indulgence

 

What’s next for these food innovators? This year they are hyper focusing on expanding their high-protein Fuel line as well as getting officially non-GMO project verified. They’re even thinking of exporting to Israel!

 

Indulge in hundreds of tri-state area stores or order directly online.

 

We’re curious about your cookie habits! Your responses will help us to provide content that is meaningful to you.

Is supporting small businesses important to you or are you an impulse buyer who plucks packages from supermarket shelves?  Do you read ingredients and chose carefully or do you relax your healthy rules when selecting sweet treats? We want to know!

2 Comments

Leave a Reply