One Hot Cookie Opens Store at Eastwood Complex

HOWLAND TOWNSHIP, Ohio – One Hot Cookie’s newest store won’t officially open its doors until 11 a.m. today, but the specialty bakery already has customers.

“We’ve already had our first order,” owner Bergen Giordani said Friday as she put the finishing touches on the new store, in the Eastwood Mall complex. One customer had called that morning and booked an order for this Friday while another called the downtown Youngstown store to book a birthday party at the new store here.

About 30 people stopped by last week to wish Giordani well on her third bakery. She opened her first in 2013 on the first floor of Erie Terminal Place in downtown Youngstown, followed early last year by a café at the Austintown branch of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.

In Howland Commons off state route 46 of the mall complex, One Hot Cookie occupies nearly 1,100 square feet in the building – now subdivided –vacated by Hollywood Video in 2010.

A representative of the Cafaro Co., the entity that owns the Eastwood Mall complex, approached Giordani following the opening in Austintown about locating in one of its properties, Giordani recalled.

“We talked about expanding the business and wanted to try a more suburban location,” she said. “It’s the next natural progression from Mahoning County. And when we were looking at it, we thought, Where better than the retail heart of the county? Which, of course, is here at the Eastwood complex.”

“It’s all part of the strategy of making sure that you have a great, diverse lineup of offerings for your customers,” said Joe Bell, Cafaro spokesman.

Nearly three times the size of the original One Hot Cookie in Youngstown, the Howland shop provides more space for the kitchen and customer areas, Giordani said. The larger space will allow her do more with birthday parties and create an atmosphere where customers can sit down “with more of a coffee shop feel,” although the stressed the new location “isn’t a coffee shop.”

The larger kitchen also will allow Giordani to expand its online offerings and do a larger push for corporate gifts as well as online and delivery orders, she added.

Despite the amenities the new bakery offers, the Youngstown and Austintown shops aren’t going anywhere. “We’re just expanding the brand,” she emphasized.

Pictured: One Hot Cookie’s store in Howland Commons opens at 11 a.m. today.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.