That’s One Smart Cookie Container

BOARDMAN, Ohio – With its shipping orders skyrocketing, the owners of One Hot Cookie knew they had to step up their game.

The shop’s stock in trade is artistically designed cookies, with mounds of frosting and toppings. They are delicious but delicate and were sometimes getting squashed or smeared in delivery.

To solve the problem, co-owners Bergen Giordani and her daughter, Morgen Chretien, came up with a clear plastic container that holds each cookie in place so well that it can be turned upside down with no damage.

They contracted with a northwestern Ohio company to produce 20,000 of the custom-made containers, which are known in the business as “clams” because they open and close along a hinged side.

Because the containers are airtight, the step of wrapping each cookie to keep it fresh has been eliminated, which streamlines the prep time before shipping.The cookies remain COVID-safe, because finger wells in each compartment of the container allow a single cookie to be removed without touching the others.

“Once the pandemic happened, we realized that we could still serve our customers online,” Chretien said, “and we saw it as the future. But we knew we would have to improve our packaging to ship all over the country.”

Christmas is the biggest time of year for cookie sales, followed by Valentine’s Day and Easter, Giordani said.

While One Hot Cookie’s store in Boardman remains open every day except Sunday, its Youngstown store has been closed since March because of the diminished foot traffic downtown.

But online sales have increased by 56% over 2019 and now make up 30% of the company’s revenues, Chretien said. Before the pandemic, online sales were 10% of revenues.

Shipping has also been steadily rising this year. One Hot Cookie currently ships at least 150 assortments per week all over the country.

In the past, cookies “were getting smooshed” during delivery, Giordani said. As shipping sales increased, she knew the problem had to be addressed. Her father, Tom Giordani, a retired chemical engineer, took on the project. He worked with plastics makers to design the containers and got price quotes from 17 of them.

After going over the pros and cons of each company, Giordani and Chretien selected First Choice Packaging of Fremont, Ohio, to make the cookie shipping containers.

“They can take some abuse,” Giordani said. “They are so much better than what we were doing.”

The containers have small plastic tabs in the cover of each compartment that holds down the edges of the cookie so that even when turned upside down it stays in place. A hemispherical covering protects the frosting.

With that level of protection, the beauty of each cookie is intact when it arrives.

“The first bite is with your eyes, as they say,” Giordani said. “It’s a fresher product going out and it arrives in perfect condition.”

With the vastly improved cookie containers, Chretien said, “We needed custom packaging to go with it.”

She designed boxes and the snowman art printed on them. A ribbon-like paper sheaf slides over the box, giving it the look of a gift package. The new cookie containers and packaging are “what sets us apart,” Chretien said.

Oliver Printing in Twinsburg produces the boxes for One Hot Cookie. Youngstown Letter Shop prints the flyers and order forms inside each box.

“We try to use local whenever we can. And when we can’t we try to stay in Ohio,” Giordani said.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.