When you hear the word “cookie,” your ears perk up. “What? Where?” Who doesn’t love a gooey, buttery, chocolatey, warm cookie? It might not be the best thing for your health, but your taste buds can’t deny it.

However, as times are changing, more and more people are becoming health conscious. We’re left with the expectation that  food should be changing with us.

That’s exactly what LA-based company Maxine’s Heavenly set out to do. It aims to take the nostalgic taste of your mother’s cookies and transform it into something that is clean, guilt-free, and enjoyable to those with dietary restrictions.

Pranavi Ahuja

Founder Tim Miller’s mother’s cookies were loved by family and friends. Miller and co-founder Robert Petrarca wanted to enjoy the cookies but were moving toward eating more better-for-you foods. Together, Miller and Petrarca reinvented mother Maxine’s beloved Crisco, butter, processed, sugar-filled cookie into something that is gluten-free, vegan, kosher, soy free, plant-based, and non-gmo. Introducing Maxine's Heavenly.

The founders' goal was for their cookies to “taste like that original recipe but have it reflect what we believe is the best way to eat for our bodies and for the planet and our own health,” Petrarca remarked. 

Being someone who eats whatever I want, I was quite skeptical. How can a cookie that is gluten-free, vegan and plant-based really taste like something I would actually enjoy? But I was pleasantly surprised! It may not look like your traditional cookie, or one that comes right out of the oven. But, Maxine's Heavenly cookies capture the taste perfectly.

Maxine's Heavenly's founders acknowledged the ever changing food industry. People who don’t identify as gluten-free or vegan are still searching for alternatives that are better for one's body and are high quality. Years ago, many people would have to make what Petrarca calls a “snackofrice:” eat something that's supposedly better for you, pretend that it tastes good, when deep down, you know it doesn’t.

“Products are raising the bar every single day and you can’t have a secondary set of standards for taste anymore. You just have to be as good as the conventional,” stated Petrarca.

Pranavi Ahuja

For this reason, Maxine’s Heavenly put taste as its main priority. The challenge was to keep the taste from the original recipe  while replacing key ingredients that contributed to its flavor. Preservation was also important.

“Being so tied to having super clean ingredients, it eliminated the ability to use a lot of the common processing ingredients that people use to extend shelf-life and we just were not willing to do that,” Petrarca said.

Maxine’s Heavenly cookies stand out from competitors because the founders worked so hard to capture what was important to them: taste and being health-conscious.

“When you taste something like ours that really does not taste healthy, does not taste like it’s vegan, and does not taste like it’s gluten free, I think it’s incredibly surprising,” Petrarca added.

Maxine’s Heavenly cookies hopes to expand its product line in the future while still keeping its core message alive.

“Things that we remember from our past, things that are steeped in history, create memories and are adapted to fit today. That's the promise of our brand as we continue to double-down on our message,” Petrarca said.

Purchase a bag of Maxine's Heavenly cookies on it's website or find a location that sells the brand near you using its store locater. Cookies come in four flavors: Chocolate Chocolate Chunk, Almond Chocolate Chunk, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk and Cinnamon Oatmeal Raisin.