Akiva Resnikoff started this company, The Cookie Department, like five years ago in California and the idea was to do functional foods in cookie form. You know functional foods: chocolate that’s got something in it to make you smarter and kill it at work, and drinks to make you more focused—they were kind of peaking about four years ago. Since then, the only functional foods with stamina have tended to be the things that get you wired: Red Bull, and Four Loko (though I don’t think you can buy that anymore), and maybe Mountain Dew, which is pretty much just dosed with caffeine, probably the most legitimately functional of all the functional boosts.
The Cookie Department has the Awaken Baked, a chocolate cookie spiked with the caffeine equivalent of an espresso shot; the Chocolate Chip Nookie, which has this thing called maca that may or may not make you horny; a protein-packed peanut butter one called the Tough Cookie, and so on. The thing about these is, even if you didn’t know they had things in them, they’re just good cookies. Anyway, it turns out that tech companies, of all things, have given The Cookie Department a huge shot in the arm, pun very much intended. “Google is ordering anywhere from 10,000 to 16,000 cookies a month,” Resnikoff told me over the phone last week. I couldn’t actually get anyone from Google to talk with me about this, because I think they’re pretty guarded about things like how many cookies their employees eat.
I asked Resnikoff why on earth Google employees would eat that many functional cookies. “I think it’s because they’re at their desks 12, 13, 14 hours a day,” he said. “The functional cookies stand out, at the end of the day, to give you the extra boost: maca for vitality, caffeine to keep you awake.” This is about keeping tech workers at their laptops, wired, or detoxed, or vital, as in frisky (actually, maybe that’s not such a good thing to be at work). In any event, the Google boost gave Resnikoff the vitality to go after other tech companies, with other millennials chained to bean-bag-chair-and-share-table idea stations. “When we got into Google I’m like, 'Now I want Square, now I want Skype,'” Resnikoff said. “I spend half my day on business development in those companies.” Good thing he has essentially an endless supply of Awaken Bakeds to keep him at his laptop.
Photos by Chris Rochelle