“You can’t eat raw cookie dough!” is a common statement that has echoed throughout households in Kane County since the naive bliss of childhood.
But at Geneva’s Cookie Dough Bliss franchise, not only can you eat it — it’s encouraged.
Co-owner couple Kirstie Geyer and Zach Norbut are bringing eggless, treated flour edible cookie dough to Geneva’s Third Street, which opened in early December. That’s right: cookie dough that is safe to eat. “It’s a very new thing,” Norbut says. “That’s one of the most exciting things about it. We’re definitely cornering the market.”
Specialty items like shakes, ice cream bars, pies, cookie dough sandwiches, cookie dough pops, ice cream and much more will be sold at the counter, along with pints to bring home. Not only is the cookie dough safe to eat, but it’s also possible to bake it for its intended purpose or store it in the refrigerator for up to six months.
“Our cookie dough won’t last in my fridge for six months,” Geyer says, laughing. “I’ve always had a sweet tooth. I believe I got it from my grandpa, who still has his sweet tooth as well.”
She credits her grandma, Marilyn Vanthournout, with making some of the best cookies around and says her grandpa, Don Vanthournout, has always had a giant box of Jelly Belly jelly beans to share on Christmas. “We can both never resist my grandma’s cookies,” she adds.
While they carry regular cookie flavors like chocolate chip, cake batter, sugar cookie, oatmeal raisin, Andes mint, cookies and cream, and cookie monster, they also have seasonal flavors as well as gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free and keto options — plus puppy dough for Fido!
“We both like the cake batter shake,” Norbut says. “But as far as the flavors, there are none that we don’t like. We have 30 flavors and that number is growing.”
Her entire life, Geyer always knew she wanted to own a bakery of some sort. But with cupcake shops, ice cream stands and other sugary spots lining the streets in Kane County, she knew she was going to need something special to make it work.
Geyer’s mom stumbled upon a Cookie Dough Bliss while on vacation in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and immediately called Kirstie to tell her she could see her opening one.
“It all kind of worked out for us and everything fell into place perfectly,” says Norbut, who also owns Marshall Motorsports in Elburn. “When we first started discussing this, we went through our ideal locations, and our exact spot was No. 1 at the time.”
While it has taken longer than they wanted to open the business due to COVID-19 restrictions and construction delays (they were slated to open in May), both Norbut and Geyer have enjoyed working together, and have found that dating while running a business has made it easy to be open with each other about business frustrations.
“It’s been nice being able to have our worlds merge together,” Norbut says. “She has experience with the food industry and customer service, and I’ve run a business before. It’s just cool to see everything come full circle.”
Norbut, whose other business focuses on vintage Volkswagen and Subaru engines, restored a VW bus to use for mobile catering and Cookie Dough Bliss marketing. “There’s not a time that we drive it that we don’t get people honking and giving us a thumbs-up,” Norbut adds.
While the delays due to the coronavirus have been admittedly frustrating for the duo, they both know it was meant to be. “We’ve got something that nobody offers,” Norbut says. “It’s a new experience and it’s something fun for families to do with their kids.
“We’re just a couple of people who like doing what we’re doing.”
COOKIE DOUGH BLISS
227 S. Third St., Geneva
Editor’s note: This story was originally published in the December issue of Kane County Magazine.