Eat, Drink And Be indie: Tasty Recipes, Inspiring Maker Stories & Exclusives

Lark Fine Foods

Lark Fine FoodsAre you the shopper of your family? Then, you're probably familiar with that risk you take when you bring something new home for your family. Whether it's trying Brussels sprouts the first time or a new brand, it's treading on dangerous turf. For Brooke Carroll, she specifically remembers the first time she tried Lark Fine Foods "cookies for grown-ups" on her family. The year was 2010, and she had struck a home run with these sophisticated shortbreads.

Suddenly, Brooke started seeing that little Lark logo everywhere. Small specialty foods stores carried their cookies, but strangely, it was often at her children's elementary school functions where she encountered them most. That's when she came in contact with Mary Ann McCormick and Nicole Nordensved, the mother-daughter duo behind the Essex, Massachusetts, company.  

Fast-forward five years to 2015. Brooke was still a loyal customer, and Mary Ann and Nicole were looking to sell. With a background in finance, Brooke describes the purchase as almost spur of the moment, or "on a lark," if you will. Tapping her friend Elaine Peterson, who had a marketing background and a penchant for baking and recipe development, the new venture took flight, riding on the wings of the soaring flavor that happens when savory meets sweet. Lark's sophisticated products feature subtle, balanced flavors like their Pistachio Cherry Sablé, Salted Rosemary Shortbread and the uber-elegant Burnt Sugar and Fennel Shortbread. Their cookies have a cool sense of having more than meets the eye – they can be dessert, but also so much more. And they recently launched a line of savory crackers.

Handmade, all-natural and preservative-free, these cookies definitely aren't kids stuff, and they've been getting grown-up-level accolades: they've received two prestigious sofi Gold Awards and four sofi Silver Finalist Awards from Specialty Foods. For the kids, they've started a summer internship program, teaching teenagers the backend of the business as well as baking skills. Brooke and Elaine took the risk, and it paid off in spades.