We had the good fortune of connecting with Ross Canter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ross, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
“shitty first drafts” Anne Lamott from Bird by Bird – Years ago, when I first started out as a writer, I read Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird. In it, she has a whole chapter dedicated to “shitty first drafts” – the basic idea being that writers, often hobbled by the expectation that only brilliance should fill each page, can get overwhelmed by the pressure to be Shakespeare and end up writing nothing at all. Instead, Lamott urges writers to set their sights on a shitty first draft – just get something, even something shitty, down on paper and fix it later (rewriting is much easier than writing). When my wife and I set out to start Cookie Good, “shitty first drafts” was, again, my mantra. We’d never had a cookie shop before, never worked in a commercial bakery, or even had employees. The prospect of what we were about to do was insanely daunting. But, rather than get paralyzed by the mountain of unknowns, we gave ourselves room to not be perfect, to make mistakes, and tackle it one shitty first draft at a time.
What should our readers know about your business?
I still remember the feeling of being 6, opening up a new box of Cap’n Crunch, and sitting down to watch Saturday morning cartoons – best feeling ever. That’s what Cookie Good is about for me. That’s how I hope people feel when they take their first bite of one of our cookies or brownies or Cookie Corn. And, as much as we have a pretty clear idea who we are and why we exist as a business, it was never an easy road. Challenges are everywhere. Professional challenges, personal challenges, professional challenges that we take personally. There’s a never-ending list of decisions to make. Big ones, small ones – doesn’t really matter, they still make our brains hurt equally. But, we take lots of breaths, try to slow things down when we can, take it on bit by bit, and, at the end of the day, we remind ourselves that it’s just cookies (well, hopefully, really fun, magically delicious cookies that make people smile like a six-year-old watching cartoons).
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Can we also assume we’re talking about a pre or post covid visit? A weeklong pandemic vacation could be challenging. It’s probably no surprise that, for me, any good time always starts with food. So, I’d make sure to get dinner reservations at one of my favorite spots: Felix or Pasjoli in Santa Monica, Majordomo downtown. I’d also lock down at least one brunch reservation (I could eat breakfast all day) – I love Norah, Farmshop, and the Griddle. No LA vacation is complete without a trip to the beach. Sitting on the deck of the Carbon Beach Club restaurant at the Malibu Beach Inn is as close as you can get to actually eating in the ocean (Paradise Cove is a pretty great LA experience too). And, since we’re talking about my best friend, I’d really try to snag an invite to the Magic Castle – this place is fantastic on so many levels.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to Kimberly Bailey of the Butter End Cakery. When Melanie and I had to make the leap out of our home kitchen, we looked all over the city to find a commercial baking space – everything we saw was dark or dirty or just depressing. It almost made us want to give up entirely. And then we met Kimberly. She was just starting her own cake business and had built out a beautiful, CLEAN kitchen that we were lucky enough to rent part time. The bonus for us was that as wonderful as her new space was, she was even more amazing. We’d spend almost as much time advising, commiserating, and therapizing each other about as we did baking. She pushed out of our comfort zone, made us a little tougher, and was our constant champion. There’s no way Cookie Good would be where we are today without her.
Yelp: cookie good