In 2012, Danielle Velez was new to Boston but was no stranger to the gym. She was a fitness trainer with a sacrilegious (to fitness folks) vice…sweets.

She spent her free time eating her way through Boston bakeries – she loves a good Flour bakery pop tart – and baking cookies, which had started as a hobby in college but eventually turned into a side hustle. It wasn’t before long that her own clients at the gym were ordering cookies from her.

(It’s all about balance.)

After a decade in the fitness industry and moving from Somerville to Dorchester to Revere, the pandemic resulted in her being laid off in April 2020. But it wasn’t all bad. Two weeks later, she gave birth to her second daughter and was able to spend time with her new baby…and her other COVID baby.

It was time to put all her eggs in one basket mixer and go all in on the gourmet stuffed cookies.

It’s All in The Name

Every morning and every night, Velez would be sitting while her baby girl fell asleep on her. As precious as it was, it also meant that she had to stay put for a while. To help pass the time and satisfy her appetite until she could actually get up, she would eat half of a mega-sized cookie. One half in the morning and the other half at night.

This inspired the name – The Half Cookie.

But over the last couple of years, the cookies and the concept have changed a little. Don’t worry. She still eats a cookie every day, albeit now mini-sized.

Now, Velez incorporates other cookies, fillings, and even pie inside of her dough.

“We like to break the mold of what a cookie could be,” Velez said. “You don’t know what else is going to be in there…now, the cookie part is just the half of it.” 

How The Cookie Crumbles

So, what’s the other half of it? It might just be everybody else that is involved in the process.

While Velez is baking every day out of rented space at Foundation Kitchen in Charlestown, there are others behind the scenes helping decide what comes out of the oven.

Her husband, who also loves to cook and create, is Colombian and put Arequipa on her radar – it’s been a game changer for caramel lovers. Her family and long-time clients are her taste testers and feedback givers. Her almost 10,000 Instagram followers help decide what cookie will be featured in next week’s rotation through polls.

Every single day, those cookies are baked-to-order and are available to purchase online through their website for delivery or pickup or soon-to-be in person at The Current in Seaport!

“C” is for Seaport…That’s Good Enough For Me

In 2021, The Half Cookie was strictly an online business. With the pandemic, that was the only feasible model at the time. It was just this past year when Velez started to dabble in the “storefront without a storefront” experience.

She increased their marketing and pop-up presence, attended the Summer and Winter SoWa Market, and made sure to do events that were in areas where their original online clients live, from Somerville to the North End to Quincy.

If you had told Velez last year that she would be gearing up for her first long-term pop-up at The Current, she wouldn’t have believed you. But, she loves how the company is shifting based on what the customers want and is excited to grow her cookie customer community.

“Having an online bakery makes it a little confusing for people to find us,” Velez said. “We will be in the hub of Boston, and we are really excited about it. It will be our first chance to feel out what retail would feel like.”

While she isn’t opposed to a full-time retail spot down the road, her big dream for The Half Cookie doesn’t have to do with necessarily opening a brick and mortar. She hopes that one day, she can give people the experience of getting their cookies straight from the oven so that they are still warm and gooey the second you bite into them.

But until then, you will be able to get your cookie fix 7 days a week for the next two and a half months starting Thursday, February 1st! The shop at 100 Seaport Blvd will be open Monday-Saturday, 11am-7pm and Sundays from 12-6 pm.

Plus, they will have specialty flavors for upcoming holidays and events. Did someone say a matcha pistachio cookie for Saint Patrick’s Day, a Cadbury egg cookie for Easter and all things blue and yellow for the marathon?

Why The Half Cookie?

Like Velez said, “Cookies are having a moment in Boston, just like bagels, which as a carb lover, I’m all for.”

But in the midst of the cookie movement, why should you choose The Half Cookie?

Maybe it’s the Oatmeal Peanut Butter cookie that Velez likes to pair with her Starbucks in the morning. Maybe it’s the Girls Night cookie that has literally everything in it (and if we’re being honest, Velez thinks it’s the perfect PMS cookie). She truly believes there is a different flavor for every mood or vibe.

Maybe it’s the quality of her cookies. No matter what, two things Velez insists on are high-quality chocolate and grass-fed butter. Or, maybe it’s that she just genuinely loves baking.

“It sounds weird, but people that love what they’re doing…you can taste it in the product,” Velez said. “Some flavors don’t make it, and I swear, if I don’t love making it, the cookie knows, and it doesn’t come out well.” 

Along with the flavors that have found themselves lost in The Half Cookie graveyard, Velez’s sense of smell is also no longer present in the kitchen.

“The weirdest thing to me is I can’t smell cookies anymore when I bake them,” Velez said. “Other vendors in the kitchen will say, it smells so good in here, and I’m like, what are you talking about?” 

Imagine being around cookies so often that you can’t smell that freshly baked cookie aroma seeping through the oven. It sounds like a dream and a nightmare all at the same time.

But for Velez, this is all one big sugary, pumpkin pie-filled, six-ounce, sprinkle-covered, buttery dream that she can’t wait to continue living with all of you.

Order now at www.thehalfcookie.com.

Make sure to follow The Half Cookie on Instagram, too!

One Comment

  1. Deanna January 29, 2024 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    Best cookies ever!!

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