Many are surprised to learn that oven master Connie McDonald, Levain co-owner and co-creator of one of the world’s great cookies, grew up in a sweets-free home. Connie, a dedicated triathelete, has always had a passion for cooking (particularly Italian). But she discovered her passion for baking only in 1993 after she gave up her career in Investment Banking to enroll at Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School. Now, after more than a decade as a professional baker, she still enjoys baking bread that is as beautiful to look at as it is to taste. And she is having the time of her life!
What makes a great cookie?
A good cookie is a good cookie. A great cookie is a tourist attraction, an entire night’s dinner party conversation, a substitute for a wedding cake!
Your Levain Bakery favorite?
My favorite is the chocolate chocolate chip cookie. I try not to make it a daily component of my diet but sometimes I swear it speaks to me!
What advice would you offer women who want to start their own businesses?
Be patient and be prepared for a very long haul. Many, many times we just put our heads down and keep going after 15 hours on your feet, day after day every year. But it is finally paying off! It really helps to have a great business partner who you trust no matter what.