Glenna Dragoo had a dream: Running her own cookie business.
That dream evolved steadily over the past six or so years — from the warmth of her home oven to a commercial kitchen and finally to Taste of Heaven Baking Co., which opened in Prosser about four years ago.
Today, Ron Dragoo has a dream: to keep the doors of his beloved wife’s shop open for as long as possible.
Glenna Dragoo was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2010 and died last spring.
“She always wanted to own her own little cookie business ... It’s just a talent she had,” Ron says. “And now I’m just trying to keep it running, just kind of in memory of her.”
Helping with that dream is Cris Campos, manager of the Taste of Heaven shop, who started working with Glenna when the business ran out of a nearby commercial kitchen about six years ago.
“She wanted the business to keep ongoing, so we’re keeping it going for her,” Campos says.
The shop has a very singular focus: cookies, particularly large sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting.
“All the customers just love them,” Campos says. So much so that she can’t even keep track of how many go out the door each week, but likely thousands. Taste of Heaven also makes chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin and molasses cookies, just to name a few.
In addition to selling out of the shop at 407 Wine Country Road, Taste of Heaven cookies are distributed by Avalanche Distributing in Zillah to coffee stands, cafes and other businesses throughout the Valley. Ron Dragoo says the cookies appear in at least a dozen different locations, from Cle Elum to the Tri-Cities.
The recipes are trade secrets, but the original sugar cookie recipe came from a friend. Maybe.
“Her sugar cookie, which we sell the most of, was actually a recipe that came from a friend of ours, from her grandmother if I remember right,” Dragoo says.
Campos remembers it differently.
“It’s a handed-down family recipe,” she says, likely from Glenna’s mother.
While Glenna may have taken the source of the recipe with her, one thing that remains is the popularity of the cookies, which can be cut into pretty much any shape requested.
“If we don’t have a cookie cutter, (customers) can bring in a cookie cutter that we can use,” Campos says.
Campos and three part-time employees bake, decorate and package the cookies all out of the store. They are kept frozen until time to sell, which helps maintain the quality, she says. The cream cheese icing on the sugar cookies will degrade quickly if left in the elements. The cookie designs are simple, Campos says. “We’re not professional bakers or decorators, but we try” to accommodate customer requests.
The cookies start at $2 each, and Taste of Heaven also sells cookie bouquets and packages for weddings, showers, parties and community fundraisers.
Dragoo attributes the success of the business to Glenna’s original investment of hard work, plus the quality of the product and community support.
“She worked very, very hard to promote her cookies,” he says. “I can remember, it didn’t matter where we were at, she’d always stop at some little coffee shop” to try and get a sale.
As for the cookies, “They’re fattening,” he says with a laugh. “They’re really, really good. Of course, I’m prejudiced — I loved her to death. Glenna had a personality that was next to none. Part of what made it successful in this little community is the love that people had for her.
“And they’re good cookies. They just really are.”
And they’ll be there in Prosser — and at an espresso stand near you — for as long as possible.
“I think she would probably be very happy to know that the doors of her little cookie store are still open,” Dragoo says. “She probably does know. ... I don’t know how the heaven thing works, I just believe it.”
• Savannah Tranchell can be reached at 509-577-7752 or firstname.lastname@example.org.