When cupcake stores began to open up in San Diego, I visited a few of them to see what the offerings were for the day. Some of them were very pretty; some of them were very tasty; some of them unique. But they all had the same thing in common – they were, in my estimation – very expensive.
My handyman – Warren – asked me the other day if I had been to “The CraVory” yet, and when I look puzzled he told me it was a store that sells only cookies. Granted, a variety of cookies, but just cookies. He told me he had tried some, and thought they were good, but, like the cupcake stores, very expensive.
He went on to tell me that he paid for them by a credit card and was amazed to see that the machine being used to process the card had a place for a 15% tip, a 20% tip, a 25% tip, a “custom” tip, or no tip. Further, he told me that the man working behind the counter verbally suggested that he leave an appropriate gratuity for his half dozen cookies. Warren wanted to only purchase one cookie but he wanted it in a box. The man said that he could not have a box for one cookie, so Warren ended up purchasing six.
Once at the CraVory, what I found was an assortment of cookies on an open tray on the front desk. The very nice young woman behind the counter asked me which ones I would like to try. My friend Mary was with me and she also asked her which ones she would like to sample.
Among those on display were a Red Velvet and Salted Caramel Cream cookie. Mary tried those.
I tried the Lemon Bar and Shamrock Milkshake, and we both ended up buying what we had sampled.
They were $2 each. I since have found out that if you purchase six cookies, you are only charged $11 and it comes in its own box. The size of the box differs with the number of cookies purchased.
Other cookies listed on the menu include Birthday Cake, Chocolate Truffle, PB Overload, Almond Joyous, Pancakes and Bacon, Rosemary Balsamic, Ultimate Chocolate Chip.
There are also “new March recipes” listed, but I presume that these were not available on a daily basis. That list included Easter Egg, Caramel Macchiato, Shamrock Milkshake, Sneak Attack, Irish Car Bomb, Lemon & Berries, Mint Chocolate Truffle and Irish Birthday Cake.
We paid cash for the cookies – rather Mary did because she treated me – and there was no mention of a tip, or lack thereof.
So the very next day, I took my brand new student – here from Japan for less than three hours – to the CraVory to complete her tour of San Diego. The same young lady was behind the counter; and the same procedure was followed. We each sampled the cookies that were offered for the day.
This time I purchased six cookies, and used a credit card to pay for them. Lo and behold – there was the machine that Warren talked about, giving me the option of what percentage of tip I wanted to leave. The young woman immediately told me that I did not have to leave a tip – she also told me that she remembered me from yesterday – and I hit the “no tip” button.
So what about the cookies?
Honestly? They are not large cookies; about the size of the cookies I make for my grandchildren. They have interesting flavors, but a little doughy.
Are they any better than what one can buy in the bakery at Ralph’s or Von’s? No, quite honestly, they are not any better. They are equal to them, but I can buy a large box of cookies at the supermarket for $5 – and it satisfies my sweet tooth just fine.
I can only buy 2 ½ cookies for the same price at “The CraVory” and they are gone in one sitting. I found offensive the payment method – I can’t see tipping the gal behind the counter because she allowed me to taste a cookie; nor can I imagine going into See’s Candy Store and leaving a tip for the clerk that fills my custom-made order. I hope that the woman working behind the register is getting at least minimum wage – and not relying on tips. I do not think I will be purchasing any more cookies from this store. It is a unique idea, but not yet perfected.