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Crazy Cookies not half-baked

(Courtesy of Nathan Grossman)

You’ve posed with the Rodin statues in front of Cantor. You aspire to have your likeness etched onto the walls at the CoHo. You think it might be fun to try juggling in front of the Claw.

Add this to your list of things to do at Stanford: eat President Hennessy. That’s right — not just eating with the president, but literally eating him.

Turns out, President Hennessy himself has already done exactly that.

“I loved it — I made a pretty good cookie,” he said.

What Hennessy described as the “mystical experience” of eating himself became a reality in 2006, when Dave Parker, a UCLA alum and native of the Bay Area, started Parker’s Crazy Cookies. The small sweets start-up currently offers cookie collections with themes ranging from Halloween to university — San Jose State, Berkeley and Stanford — as well as custom cookies. Every two weeks, Parker bakes and packages 20,000 cookies.

In October, Nate Grossman ‘10 jumped on board. Grossman, who is interested in pursuing intersecting fields of business, psychology and marketing after Stanford, said that he e-mailed Parker after seeing his start-up listed on the Cardinal Careers Web site. Upon receiving a “really funny e-mail” back, Grossman became Parker’s first sales associate and employee.

“It seemed like a cool way to get a product and develop my own marketing strategies,” Grossman said. “It’s a really small start-up — that’s what drew me to it, too.”

According to Grossman, Parker obtained licensing rights by making samples of Stanford icons and submitting them to the Collegiate Licensing Company.

Now, Grossman’s primary role is to push the Stanford collection, which started test selling at Stanford the first week of winter quarter at Tresidder, the Alumni Cafe and the bookstore. Although Grossman said that they sold out at the Alumni Cafe on the first day, it hasn’t been easy everywhere. Tresidder General Manager Jeannette Hayden wrote in an e-mail to The Daily that “the Crazy Cookies are not selling well in Tresidder.”

“I think the problem is that when people go to Peet’s or are getting lunch, they don’t want a somewhat expensive bag of cookies to go with their coffee or meal,” Grossman said, noting that it is very difficult to get “people to listen to you, like, seriously listen to you, when you’re talking about cookies.”

Nonetheless, Grossman remains unfazed and is continuing to develop new marketing strategies — to be disclosed in the future.

“The best solution is to get the cookies in their hands — people really do love them,” he said. “Plus, it’s awesome to see their faces when they see President Hennessy as a little cookie.”

After all, he at least tastes good.

Ian Rowbotham ‘11, who tried the cookies for the first time in early January, said that he was “hooked” and described the taste as “somewhere between shortbread and the animal cookies of my childhood.”

“I think the Stanford set is a staple for campus not only because of their flavor,” he said. “I plan on consistently munching on these, but they also match the humorous outlook Stanford has of itself, such as the drawings in the CoHo.”

Hennessy agreed, commenting that “the total experience had cerebral elements that are hard to capture with simple words like ‘good.’”

“Cerebral elements?” See for yourself. Bon appetit!