Westchester firefighters baking cookies that help a good cause

Lauren Glassberg Image
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Westchester firefighters baking cookies that help a good cause
Lauren Glassberg has the details.

WHITE PLAINS (WABC) -- When you think of firefighters, we don't always think of them in the kitchen.

But some local firefighters are baking cookies, that help a good cause.

Not all cookies are bad for you. The cookies by Cookie Republic have lots of healthy benefits, and they benefit a good cause too.

The bakers are an unlikely group of men. They have a recipe for cookies that aren't exactly like dessert.

They're made with super foods like flax and chia seed, ingredients that give you energy, particularly helpful when you're on the go like these guys usually are.

"We'll get an alarm, we might miss a meal," said one of the men, Sunny Seward.

Three of the four bakers are firefighters in Westchester.

"We actually never baked in our lives, but as a firefighter the culture is to cook and bake, so we didn't know but we had to learn," Seward said.

And Sunny and Tonin Bucaj started baking the cookies for fun at their firehouse in White Plains.

They brought in Dominick Lombardo, a firefighter in Greenburgh to help bake.

"Trial and error, people trying our cookies, yes, no, a little bit more of this, a little bit less of that," said Lombardo.

And Tonin's brother Mark brings the business background to Cookie Republic.

"Why did you think there was a viable business here?", we asked.

"When I tasted the cookies, I knew," he said. "I see a lot of the products out there and they didn't taste as good as ours and I knew we had something bigger than firemen and their families."

And they're on their way. They bake about 10,000 cookies a week and offer three flavors.

"We have people that are partial to peanut butter, some people are partial to the blueberry muffin. It all depends, my favorite is the peanut butter," said Lombardo.

100 stores in the Westchester area sell their cookies, including Mix on Main in Dobbs Ferry, and because these cookies got their start in a firehouse kitchen, they're giving back. 10% of profits go to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

"You can actually feel really good about the cookie, not just the flavor but you feel good that you're giving back to a charity and a good cause," said Seward.

The cookies sell for $2.99 each and Cookie Republic is hoping to get into big stores and supermarkets in the coming months. You can also order them online, at http://www.cookierepublic.com/