River Forest resident Nancy Carl’s decision to go into the chocolate cookie-making business is as unlikely as one could imagine. You see, Carl has a secret. She doesn’t really like chocolate.
Also, she got into the business in the first place because of her diabetic son.
Let’s step back.
Carl, who runs the home business Chocolate Rush, made her first batch as an auction item for annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation gala. Yep, that’s what she did – and people loved it.
“I would make these cookies for friends,” she said. “Then I donated the cookies, and that was a big auction item.”
She tells Oak Park Eats that after others tasted her cookies at the gala, they wanted more — and a business was born.
Carl bakes mini chocolate chip cookies – those are her best seller – snickerdoodles, oatmeal cookies and even a red velvet chocolate chip cookie, among others, she said in a recent interview.
Her secret with the minis is a little bit of dough and a lot of chocolate, she said.
Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, chunks of chocolate candy bar – Carl said she uses a variety of the sweet stuff in her creations, but as for the chocolate itself, it’s not so much her thing.
“I don’t like chocolate. I don’t. It’s terrible!” she said with a laugh.
Carl does have to taste the offending deliciousness to make sure the cookies are coming out right, and that gives her customers a chuckle.
“People crack up” upon learning of her distaste for her primary ingredient, she said.
Carl is old-school in that she doesn’t have a website or online presence – she’s working on it, she says – and gets most of her business through word of mouth.
Wedding parties, teacher appreciation days and the annual Holiday Walk in Forest Park in December help drive her business, she said.
“I’ve been really lucky to get a lot of orders,” she said.
Chocolate Rush cookies come in 1.5- to 2-pound bags for the mini cookies for around $20. The larger cookies run $2 apiece, she said.
Carl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.