That David is One Smart Cookie

OU Kosher Staff

From the humble beginnings of a lone storefront in Manhattan to the present day of three rapidly growing, bustling plants, David’s Cookies has been a trend-setting icon in the gourmet food industry since its opening in 1979.

In the late 1970’s, when boutique cookie shops were popping up along the West Coast, Chef David Liederman decided it was time to bring this fad to the East Coast. The smell of freshly baked cookies permeated the New York City air, drawing in hundreds of customers daily. Over the course of the next few years, more than 200 David’s Cookies stores sprouted up internationally.

The 1980’s brought about an economic recession that left David’s Cookies and many other companies struggling. The company was bought by a New Jersey-based gourmet food company: Fairfield Gourmet Corporation. They helped introduce David’s to the wholesale and co-branding world. The cookies once again gained popularity and by the 1990’s, David’s was rejuvenated into a thriving industry!

Throughout the years, David’s has transformed from a mom and pop store front that specialized in simple, tasty cookies, to a company with three plants that produce cookie dough, brownies, cakes, tarts, muffin batter, ruggalach, scones, crumb cakes, and more. David’s has developed a niche for pan-baked and IQF frozen ready-to-bake desserts. This greatly assists the chefs in high volume feeders like hotels, caterers, convention centers and cafes because they are able to save on labor, yet still produce fresh baked products daily.

David’s is currently in the process of introducing a new line of products to their wholesale customers: Fresh Baked Muffins. These muffins have a sour cream base rather than the more typical water base that is found in most store-bought muffins. In addition to this line, David’s has created Decadent Cookie Dough. Each cookie is roughly 5 inches in diameter and made with huge chunks of Hershey’s brand candy.

With such a variety of products and ingredients within these products, keeping strict kosher facilities would be near impossible without the help from the Orthodox Union. Since the OU provides a directory of certified companies, it makes purchasing kosher ingredients much easier. Without this, David’s would have to research every ingredient purchased to not only make sure that the specific ingredient is kosher, but that it hasn’t been processed on non-kosher machines or surfaces. In addition, the OU has greatly enhanced David’s quality procedures by implementing logbooks and record keeping on all raw materials to be checked by the rabbi which are also used for David’s Quality Control records. This also assists in the uniformity of the product as only certain manufacturers with detailed specs are approved.

David’s Cookies would not be where it is today, as one of the largest quality dessert producers in the Northeast of both kosher dairy and pareve products, without the assistance of the OU. The OU symbol does not just stand for kosher supervision; it stands for quality without compromise!

Rabbi Yisroel Bendelstein serves as Orthodox Union rabbinic coordinator for David’s Cookies.