Story and photos by Vivienne Pearson
Like a phoenix arising from the ashes, Byron Bay Cookies have opened a sparkling gift store in the same location as their previous outlet.
The outlet store closed in 2013 after the business hit major financial difficulty and by the time the business’s future was assured (thanks to a buy-out) another retailer had moved into the space.
It became vacant again earlier this year, prompting Byron Bay Cookies to revisit the past by leasing the store, which is at the entrance to the Byron Bay Arts & Industry Estate.
The store has been fitted out in black, gold and timber – which is salvaged from the new owner’s 1888-built mill. The focus of the store is gifts and, fittingly, when I visited, two little bridesmaids sporting floor-length cream dresses were helping their father buy thankyou gifts for wedding guests.
‘Weddings are a big market for us,’ says chief operating officer Keith Byrne, showing me the display of bonbonnière-style packaging.
The gift store’s opening comes as Byron Bay Cookies celebrate 25 years in business. As part of the celebrations, two new flavours were designed by dessert-queen-celeb-chef Christine Manfield. As with all Byron Bay Cookies, flavour names are not just wishful thinking. Eating the Passionfruit and Dark Chocolate cookies involves crunching passionfruit seeds. The Salted Caramel Popcorn cookie is filled with pieces of popped popcorn. ‘Our cookies are an indulgent product,’ says Keith. ‘The characterising ingredients, such as the chocolate or nuts, can take up to 30 per cent of a cookie.’
The company has nearly doubled production in the last three years. ‘We achieved this through constant innovation and creativity,’ says Keith, who declines to spill the beans on what the third Christine Manfield flavour (due for release later this year) will be.
If you are a smart cookie and need to buy a gift on your way to or from Byron, or a clever cookie in need of a snack-attack to cope with the mounting summer traffic on Ewingsdale Road, look out for the lady-eating-a-cookie logo and stop in for a gifted cookie.
Gift store, Ozigo Complex, corner Ewingsdale Rd and Bayshore Drive (also retail store Shop 3, 4 Jonson St, Byron Bay.