Amy Lainoff Amy's Best Cookies the Best Cookies in Southern Maine

So, how did Amy’s Best Cookies come to be?  My name is Amy and I was born and bred in Brooklyn, NY! This photo of myself with my little cousin, Caitlin, is old!  My cousin is now an adult!  I have always loved this photo.  My sister took it of us in our house in Brooklyn when my cousin came to visit with her parents who lived in Virginia.  So, we didn’t see her often, but this photo was taken after my sister and I had just finished baking chocolate chip cookies!  Caitlin was a little shy at first, but then we told her we were baking cookies she had this big smile and then joined us in the kitchen.  What a wonderful memory!  We were relaxing after the baking and waiting a bit for the cookies to cool. Don’t we all have childhood memories of freshly baked cookies?

Fast forward to college – I went to SUNY Cortland in Cortland, NY and for graduate school went to The George Washington University in Washington, DC.  In 1989 I found myself in Maine – University of Maine Farmington – where my start in Higher Education began as well as my adventure of living in Maine.  I stayed at UMF for five years before moving to the Portland area.  Eventually found myself in South Portland where I now reside and continue to work full time in Higher Education

I have always enjoyed baking and a few years ago, I wanted to create a cookie I could bake without all the white flour.  Trying to be a bit healthy with the cookie, I decided on oatmeal and whole wheat flour. I added different ingredients to create different tastes and textures. I also made sure I had lots more oatmeal in there than flour.

In the meantime I joined the Maine Association of Student Affairs Professionals (MASAP) and then became the Treasurer.   We meet at different colleges on a monthly basis with other professionals who work in Higher Education.  Sometimes going to meetings involved travelling 2-3 hours one way to get to the designated campus. These car rides always provided for good conversations.  One car ride in particular with Joe (from another college) started it all. I was looking for something else in my life – something creative – so Joe and I talked.  And talked. I told him I would like to bake and sell cookies. He had ideas and we talked.  Whenever he saw me after that, he would inquire as to what I was doing with the cookies! He was not going to let it go and I am thankful for that. (See Joe’s Classic Cookie)  Joe became one of my best customers!

I started bringing cookies to work once in a while and it resulted in many positive comments – I built a reputation for myself of someone who knew how to bake an excellent cookie!  Then a co-worker, Patrick, needed surgery and when he was home recuperating, myself and his supervisor paid him a visit one day after work.  Of course I brought him a large container of cookies.  When he returned to work he told me the cookies were gone in 2 days.  Between his roommates and friends stopping over, they were gone!  Patrick told me that his friends wanted to know what was in them, and where they could get more!  Well, this along with my conversations with Joe all kind of came together and I shared with Patrick I was looking at seeing if I could sell them and start a business.  He was pretty excited about it and has always been supportive -coming up with ideas and sharing opinions. (See Patrick’s Blend Cookie)

I began to use my co-workers as taste testers and started to bring in cookies every Monday.  Each week was something different – but had the same base of oatmeal and whole wheat flour.  Then I had to look into getting my kitchen inspected and getting a license, which I did!  But what to name my cookie business?  I put out the question on my Facebook page and the ideas came forward.  It was a difficult decision and I was trying to narrow it down when my first supervisor in Higher Education – Hollie – at UMF suggested Amy’s Best Cookies.  She said – Amy – ABC – Amy’s Best Cookies puts you at the top of the list!  I liked how it sounded and had it on my brain for a couple of days and then made the decision.  Hollie always had ideas and thoughts and she had them for the oookies!  I told her I was using her suggestion for my business name! I knew Hollie loved peanut butter cookies, so I used my base cookie and put in peanut butter chips and shipped them to her.  She loved them!  (See Hollie’s Peanut Butter Cookie).

There are so many individuals who helped me in one way or another that it would be impossible to list them all without fear of leaving someone out.  Sending love to my family and friends and everyone who played a part in Amy’s Best Cookies……………