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A sneak peek inside the first-ever Aberdeen Cookie Cult shop ahead of its opening tomorrow

Customers can expect NYC-style cookies, brookies and more...

Amanda Charles outside her new shop with some of her cookies
Amanda Charles outside her new shop. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

Cookie Cult fans rejoice, for director Amanda Charles is opening the business’ first shop in Aberdeen tomorrow.

Located on St Swithin Street – in the former Cafe Orka – the 672 sq ft unit is set across two floors with the upper level featuring a display counter and seating for eight people.

Some of the cookies that will be for sale
A selection of the business’ NYC-style cookies. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

The downstairs area has been converted into a kitchen for Amanda, 30, and her four-strong team to prepare a selection of tasty home bakes.

Amanda, from Kingswells, was handed the keys to the premises on Monday, May 1.

Three months of prepping the interior to ensure it looks as tasty as the bakes

The renovation process has included repainting the walls, building a servery, and extending and adapting the kitchen, among other things, over the past three months.

Amanda says she is looking forward to “interacting with customers face-to-face” at the new store.

The director was keen to take on the space after seeing the success of Cafe Orka first-hand.

The interior of Cookie Cult in Aberdeen
The interior took three months to refurbish. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

“They were very busy so I already knew there was high demand in the area for the product,” says Amanda.

“There are lots of offices, schools and houses very close by and it always has been a bustling area of Aberdeen.

“I saw it was on the market and contacted the landlord immediately to make a deal.”

Here crumbs what to expect at Cookie Cult…

Cookie Cult customers can expect a range of New York City-style cookies, brookies, cookie pies, cookie cakes and mini cookies.

Flavours include Oreo, red velvet, Biscoff, birthday cake, triple chocolate, Nutella and raspberry and white chocolate.

A red velvet cookie.
A red velvet cookie. Image: Paul Glendell/DC Thomson

The business regularly introduces special flavours, too, such as gingerbread spice, white chocolate crème egg and mince pie.

Amanda added: “As we settle into our new unit, we’ll be expanding our range of goodies, so keep an eye out for more exciting treats to indulge in.

Nutella cookies from Cookie Cult Aberdeen
Nutella cookies are sure to prove popular. Image: Paul Glendell/DC Thomson

“We will also be working with the amazing team at Cuppers Choice, serving up some of the highest grade coffee around.

“Our NYC-style cookies are definitely our most popular product so I would recommend giving them a try.”

The rise of Cookie Cult: From operating in a ‘tiny flat’ to opening an Aberdeen shop

Cookie Cult is a pandemic baby, and came to fruition in mid-December 2020 after Amanda was made redundant from her job in recruitment.

Originally residing in a flat in Rosemount, she began experimenting with different styles of cookies before deciding to turn her love of baking into a legitimate business.

A purple neon sign reading 'Don't mind if I dough'
One of the charming pieces of decor inside Cookie Cult. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

The 30-year-old proceeded to set up an online shop and a social media account, creating the brand Cookie Cult.

“It started in my tiny former flat kitchen in Rosemount where space was limited,” she says.

“I would be up all night baking and up at the crack of dawn delivering all the various cookies to the local businesses I’d agreed to supply. It was hard work.

The interior of Cookie Cults in Aberdeen, with cream and blue walls, purple chairs and wooden countertops
There is enough seating for eight people inside. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

“Eventually I decided enough was enough and managed to get a small dark kitchen just off of George Street. Mass-cookie production became a lot smoother.”

Amanda also invested in a branded gazebo and started attending local markets across the north-east where “demand was really high”.

“All these moving parts of the business have continually grown and grown,” adds Amanda.

Amanda with a freshly-made red cookie with an Oreo on top
Amanda with a freshly-made cookie. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

“And then I had the same problems I was having in the flat – albeit on a much larger scale now.

“I began hunting for a unit where I could not only make the cookies but also have a customer service counter, which wasn’t possible in the George Street site, as well as having more kitchen space.”

‘Who knows, maybe there will be more Cookie Cults’, says Amanda

Although her former job was in recruitment, Amanda has 10 years of experience in the hospitality sector.

She started her career at Kelly’s of Cults and went on to work in various hotels.

Customers can stop by Cookie Cult on St Swithin Street from 10am to 4pm Wednesday to Sunday.

Outside Cookie Cult in Aberdeen on St Swithin Street
Cookie Cult is located on St Swithin Street in Aberdeen. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

Amanda said: “I love working on my food stall and getting to interact with my customers face-to-face.

“Events are seasonal and usually only at weekends. I’m looking forward to that style of service – with the new addition of coffees and hot drinks – five days a week.

“It [the shop] will significantly increase my output capacity from anything I’ve had up until now, allowing me to focus on driving more sales and growing the business further.

The coffee machine
Coffees are also available. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

“Who knows, maybe there will be more Cookie Cults opening in the near future…”