Feel good baked goods
Kerri O’Neill grew up in Santa Cruz as a self-described at-risk kid who went to continuation school and moved out at 17. Raised vegetarian, she got into the restaurant industry as a server. One day, her boss asked her to make a batch of vegan cookies. They came out spectacular.
In 1992, she began making one of the first organic and vegan cookies in town called Kerri Kreations.
The local wholesale bakery sells to grocery stores like New Leaf, Whole Foods and The Food Bin. Her cookies are also available in coffee shops, as well as direct-to-consumer via her phone number and website. She defines her cookies as hand-made and artisan-crafted, using responsibly sourced ingredients with a low glycemic index. Some best-sellers include the Peanut Butter Fudge Collision, classic Chocolate Chip, Ginger and the Banana Nut Chunk.
Tell me about your journey?
KERRI O’NEILL: I feel like this business is a total testament to following a feeling inside. As a kid, we didn’t have much money, so cooking was something that came naturally to me. I just followed my heart and passion, and magic and alchemy followed. That passion, desire and want is the thing in the future calling to us, it’s our destiny becoming manifest through our passion. The business has taught me about discipline, hard work, resilience and the importance of a good sense of humor.
How do you describe your cookies?
They are top shelf and the ingredients are exactly what I would use at home making cookies for myself. They are vegan, but that is something I keep cryptic because most vegan desserts are often less than satisfying in terms of flavor and texture. I’ve spent many years perfecting recipes while also updating with current flavor trends. What’s on-trend now – organic, non-GMO and sustainably sourced ingredients – is what I’ve been doing since I started the business over 30 years ago.