There are cookies and then there are Bang Cookies. Chewy, chunky, and mouth-wateringly delicious, the decadent made in Jersey City cookies are a staple at many local farmers’ markets. Owner, head baker, and entrepreneur George Kuan recently opened Bang Cookies’ first production and drop-in storefront in the Heights. If you think Bang cookies are great now, wait till you see what they have in store for you next year. Spoiler: alcohol-infused Boozy Cookies.
How did the idea for Bang Cookies originally start?
George Kuan: The idea for Bang Cookies started when I felt the lack of a made-to-order, organic, and natural cookie in Jersey City. We really wanted to bring a more wholesome cookie with top tier ingredients that customers would appreciate. I wasn’t always a baker, but I mainly focused on cookies and the recipe has been refined many times for 12+ years until I was ready to launch the business.
What’s the story behind your original name — Bang Me Bakery — and the name change?
GK: Bang Me Bakery was the original name and we wanted a name that was able to command attention and be playful at the same time. It definitely helped us get good marketing attention without spending money. We changed it to Bang Cookies when our customer base grew to make it more appealing to everyone of all ages. The progression to Bang Cookies is simple to remember as it only has three syllables and there’s no letter “R” in it, which makes it easier for people that do not speak a language derived from Latin to pronounce and remember. The word “Bang” in itself connotes loudness, boldness, and a show of energy — the OMG moment when our cookies hit someone’s mouth.
Bang Cookies started at the Grove Farmers’ Market. What was the process like going from market to storefront and will you continue selling at the various New Jersey markets?
GK: The process wasn’t easy and going from the market to the cookie shop was brutal to say the least. Being an entrepreneur and living through the ups and downs will humble anyone. The food industry isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll live and die by your product and this goes for all industries. We’ll definitely still do the various New Jersey markets to support our customer base.
The word “Bang” connotes loudness, boldness, and a show of energy — the OMG moment when our cookies hit someone’s mouth.
You currently offer 9 year-round flavors. Do you have any new flavors or surprises in the works for 2018?
GK: We’ll definitely launch new cookies in 2018, as most of them have already been developed. We’ll have a “Stuffed” cookie line, finalize the last of our deluxe cookies, launch a “Boozy” cookie line, a “Gluten Free” cookie line, and for this winter we’ll launch a limited edition holiday cookie line called Ginger Molasses. [The Boozy Cookies are still in development and Bang Cookies is still testing flavors and alcohol partners.]
Are there any collaborations with other Jersey City establishments in the works?
GK: We’ve collaborated with only one establishment so far — Orale Mexican Kitchen. We respect their taste, quality, and customer service so they carry our cookies on their menu. We haven’t opened up to other collaborations yet, but will be in the very near future. We’re very selective in who we partner with as we expect our partners to have the same pedigree in every facet of their business as ours.
Are you originally from Jersey City?
GK: I was born in Manhattan, NY. I currently live in Jersey City and have been here for almost seven years.
What are some of your favorite desserts when you’re not baking?
GK: My favorite desserts of all time would be white chocolate macadamia nut cookies and a nice warmed glazed donut.
How do you stay in shape when you’re surrounded by so many delicious cookies?
GK: I eat one cookie a day, workout three times a week, walk my fur baby (dog) Mango, read prolifically, squeeze Mango cause he’s too cute, go on hikes, and only eat one meal a day.
(Photos: Bang Cookies/Facebook)
Bang Cookies | 1183 Summit Avenue | www.bangcookies.com