Finger Lakes Cookie Co. had its grand opening at 94 Main St. in September. Lori Bush founded the store with the focus of selling old-fashioned cookies—all with a diameter of three inches or more. Students can place orders online and pick up cookies at the store or have them delivered on campus.
All of the store’s cookies are made in small batches and baked fresh daily. Bush’s menu consists of a variety of flavors, including chocolate chip, oatmeal cranberry white chocolate chip, peanut butter, molasses crinkle and deer run winery max black chocolate.
Bush donates 10 percent of her business’s proceeds to the Arc of Livingston-Wyoming, which supports individuals with disabilities by providing housing, day programs, assistance to families, as well as education and job programs. Bush’s handicapped sister—Linda Bush—is a client of the Arc of Livingston-Wyoming, and Bush said the organization’s assistance to her sister prompted her desire to give back.
“I have always felt like they supported my sister in so many ways,” Bush said. “It’s just a truly amazing organization, so I always knew it was the organization I would want to give back to.”
Finger Lakes Cookie Co. also works to employ clients from the Arc of Livingston-Wyoming, according to the store’s website.
Bush was motivated to start Finger Lakes Cookie Co. after becoming suddenly ill two years ago, she said. Staying in the hospital made Bush realize life was short, and she did not want to live a life with any regrets.
“It really took at least eight months for me to finally realize this is what I wanted to do,” she said. “This is on my bucket list—I’m going to do it. I’m going to take that step. It’s just been an amazing experience ever since.”
Bush said that she wants her store to remain unique. Currently, Bush is partnering with a homemade ice cream shop to offer ice cream sandwiches, which are expected to come out next year. Bush and the ice cream shop also plan to develop original ice cream flavors.
Biology major sophomore Lea Rivera said the Finger Lakes Cookie Co. allows students to escape the chaotic campus life, and the store serves as a reminder of home.
“It’s really cozy and nice and quiet from all of the craziness on campus, and homemade goods are always nice to have every now and then because it just reminds you of being home,” she said.
Biology major junior Shannon Vallone said she enjoys Finger Lakes Co.’s atmosphere.
“It’s a little industrial, but also country. It’s just a really nice relaxing break from school, and the cookies are really good, too,” she said. “I like the way they designed the lighting, and the decorations are very nice. You can tell everything was really carefully planned out and you can definitely see the owner’s personality in the business.”
Bush said she hopes her store serves as a place to bring people together and to brighten their days.
“I want to be able to have that place where people come in and gather and get those things that make you feel good—old-fashioned cookies—whether it’s coming in and you just need somebody to listen to you or to just give you a word of hope,” she said. “Whatever it is that somebody needs, I hope that this is the place."