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A Bite of the Boro: Jonny Boy Cookies

Jonny Womack, also known as Jonny Boy, didn’t start out as a baker. Long before the days of Jonny Boy Cookies, Jonny worked in the healthcare field, first as an LPN and later as a drug representative. While making his rounds to different doctor’s offices, Jonny would take his homemade cookies along to thank the staff. Big Boys Cookies was initially conceived to make Jonny’s cookies more professional.

By the time the holiday season came around, offices started calling Jonny, looking to get more of his cookies. Jonny just kept saying yes- leading to over 90 dozen cookies being ordered by different doctor’s offices! Armed with only a single Kitchen-Aid Mixer and a single conventional oven, the cookies began to be baked. Jonny would bake 30 hours at a time. Hannah, Jonny’s wife and “quality control”, would wrap and package them. Thankfully, two more mixers were borrowed shortly after.

After the holiday rush, over the course of a long car ride, Jonny and Hannah decided to take the plunge. In March 2016, the original Big Boy Cookies food truck hit the road. Turning your home business into something more does have its challenges. As part of their marketing, Jonny started a Facebook business account, which requires an address. Since they were a food truck, Jonny listed his home. One morning, while he and Hannah were sitting on their porch drinking coffee, a car pulled up. A couple had driven from Charleston to try their famous cookies! Of course, Jonny and Hannah welcomed them in, and baked them some cookies for their effort. As the business continued to grow, the next step was a brick and mortar, and in September of 2017 that’s exactly what opened along The Blue Mile in Statesboro, Georgia.

Jonny Boy now has over 50 cookie recipes, from Jalapeño Corn to Caramel Apple. Taking care of people has always been integral to Jonny and his cookies reflect that, with lactation cookies and gluten free and vegan options. Flavor is also at the core of Jonny Boy Cookies. Their original tagline was “Finally, a Cookie for Adults!”, which led to some confusion about the contents of the cookies…however, Jonny was quick to clarify.

“Our cookies have nuanced flavors that adults will pick up on and enjoy, but the kids will love too!” His personal favorite tends to change, but one that always stays near the top is the Molasses Cookie. These are finished with a roll in a coarse sugar, adding a pleasant texture to the outside. Jonny boy definitely has opinions about flavor.

The Molasses Cookie

“I won’t make an oatmeal raisin cookie- they’re gross. I do have an Oatmeal Rum Craisin though!” When asked about his best seller, Jonny said chocolate chip, noting that it’s most peoples “security blanket” cookie. Christopher Kimball, co-founder of America’s Test Kitchen, tried to create the perfect chocolate chip cookie by baking hundreds of cookies, an expedition that actually helped inspire Jonny, by showing him the variety and experimentation that went into baking cookies. Much like Mr. Kimball, Jonny has little formal culinary training.

“If we knew what we were doing, we wouldn’t have what we have. I don’t have to follow strict guidelines- that’s how you get Chicken and Waffles!” The Chicken and Waffles cookie is a specialty cookie that carries a sweet, maple flavor with a spicy finish. Bold is a word that is used to describe Jonny’s flavors often, but is also important to him in the decision making process of each cookie- such as picking the correct bourbon for the Maple Bacon Bourbon cookies.

Next time you stop in, be sure to check out the Georgia Grown items they carry, including Cork’s Kettle Corn, Dee’s Nuts, Byne’s Blueberries, and Southern Pawz products. One product Jonny Boy offers that you may not be familiar with is their edible cookie dough, which is made with pasteurized eggs and cooked flour. Freezing cookie dough actually adds a depth of flavor and while it can be eaten as is, Jonny also says that baking the cookie dough is a delicious, worthwhile experience.

The food truck, now called the Cookie Wagon, is still on the go, available for events, and can be tracked through their social media. Johnny Boy Cookies is now able to ship nationwide and plans to expand their online offerings. Their cookies can also be delivered locally through Chow Now. Don’t see your favorite Jonny Boy cookie in the case when you come in? Order a half dozen and they will be happy to bake them up fresh for you!

The Grand Rebrand Celebration will be Friday, October 1st. When asked about the name change, Jonny was quick to say that he didn’t feel like they lost big boy- but  gained Jonny Boy! “Jonny Boy” represents the new spin on southern tradition that Jonny prioritizes in his baking.

The Grand Rebrand Celebration will kick off at 9am as a full day of fun! Not only will fall favorites be available, including Pumpkin Snickerdoodle, Cotton Candy, and Oatmeal Butterscotch, but a brand new cookie will be announced! Pie Society and Sweet Spice, two food trucks, will be set up outside at 10:30am. BOGO discounts and giveaways, including the chance to win a half dozen cookies per month for a year, will be happening until 6pm. Swing by on Friday from 9am-6pm to get in on the action at 441 South Main Street, Statesboro. Give them a call at (912) 259-9866 or head to https://jonnyboycookies.com/ to check out their website.

All images courtesy of Jonny Boy Cookies social media accounts.

Sydney Davis Hospitality Specialist sydneyscvb@gmail.com

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