Pre-coronavirus, Chris Sheldrick had a simple plan: to bring New York-style cookies to Sydney. He’d fallen in love with the cookies – which are chunky and usually around three to four times as thick as regular cookies – after spending time in New York, but hadn’t been able to find anything similar in Sydney.
“We developed the recipe for the cookies years ago and originally wanted to offer it with my other business, Banksia Bakehouse,” he tells Broadsheet. But thanks to delayed lease agreements – then a worldwide pandemic and a nationwide lockdown – Sheldrick’s simple plan took a turn, and he decided to launch a side business to get his cookies to the people. And so Thicc Cookies was born. (Banksia finally launched in the CBD in August.)
“Our first event was the tea festival last year at Carriageworks,” he says. “After two hours we sold out. No one had heard of us before, but they lined up for our cookies.”
Sheldrick, his sister Emma Sheldrick and sister-in-law Aileen Zhang bootstrapped the brand together, buying wet-floor signs and caution tape from Bunnings to decorate a market stall (those accessories inspired the brand’s logo). Hoping to capitalise on the success he’d experienced at the Tea Festival, Sheldrick hired staff and planned to sell cookies at the Easter Show – but then the city went into lockdown.
Many of his employees were recent hires, so they didn’t qualify for Jobkeeper payments. Refusing to give up on his staff and the brand, Sheldrick took the business online overnight – and rehired his laid-off staff three days later.
“We knew we needed to keep them in work, so bakers became delivery drivers and others made cookie dough,” he says.
And the orders rolled in – soon Thicc was shipping 500 cookies a day around the nation, and selling more at various Sydney markets.
The chunky cookies come in a range of flavours, including Lotus Biscoff, Caramilk, Nutella, peanut butter and funfetti. There’s even a one-kilo chocolate-chip cookie. The cookies are made with quality ingredients such as Belgian chocolate and New Zealand butter, and many of the flavours are inspired by the desserts at Banksia Bakehouse. A “secret menu” posted on Thicc’s Instagram highlights features a rotating selection of specials – such as lemon meringue, cinnamon scroll and carrot cake – only available at Sydney market stalls.
Sheldrick is constantly tinkering in the kitchen developing new recipes: he collaborated with Sydney’s Donut Papi on a bright-purple ube number; he’s created an “espresso chip” cookie where the dough is infused with Toby’s Estate coffee; and his latest obsession is working out how to marry baklava with a cookie.
Thicc Cookies also has a sibling brand, Bigg Brownies, which is exactly what it sounds like: huge bricks of brownies in a range of flavours, from triple choc to peanut butter to a red velvet-Iced Vovo hybrid.
Thicc Cookies delivers Australia-wide.