Oatmeal raisin cookies. When you typically bite into an oatmeal raisin cookie, your first thought is, “Ah! This isn’t chocolate chip?!” But, when you bite into Kate Merrill’s oatmeal raisin cookie, you think, “Oh, THIS is how a cookie should taste. This is the best.”
Want in on a secret? Kate Merrill’s sweets and treats from Kate’s Cookies are only the best. That’s why Kate’s Cookie’s slogan, “only the best” rings so true when you bite into an Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, chocolate chip cookie, or even that surprise oatmeal cookie.
It all started with little curly-haired Kate, scooching a stool over to her great grandmother’s kitchen island and watching her work her magic: dashes of cinnamon, the mixing of the sparkling sugars, and nibbling on the extra raisins while family tales and giggles were shared. These were special moments to Kate. Visiting her great grandmother meant delightful smells and all things sweet with the comforts of home.
The recipes and memories stayed with Kate as she grew up. Her own “recipe” card called for: 4 years attending Loyola University Chicago for nursing, 1 husband, 3 children, and 18 years of service as a registered nurse. That life recipe also called for some special ingredients, such as love for baking and making others feel loved just like she felt when baking with her great grandmother. This meant that days not working at the hospital were filled with her and her top taste-testers, her kiddos, making only the best treats and sharing them with those around her. Kate says, “I do not indulge in sweets a lot, thankfully my children are willing (and critical) taste testers. If my daughter doesn’t give it a thumbs up, you won’t see it.”
Kate’s love for family also inspired her to create gluten-free options after Kate’s sister was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease. Not wanting her sister to miss out and knowing the difficulty of Celiac’s through her work as a nurse , Kate made her great-grandmother proud and produced a cookie that was deemed “the best thing I’ve ever had” by her sister.
Community members can try these tasty, locally-produced treats for themselves at the Loyola Farmers Market. Kate loves the Loyola Farmers Market because she gets to share her passion with local market-goers, experience how Loyola University, her alma mater, has changed over the years, and reminisce about her time as a Rambler. Soon, Kate will be adding a new, exciting element to her recipe for success by opening a storefront location in Edgewater called “The Edge of Sweetness” at 6034 N. Broadway this fall.
Come visit Kate at her booth at the Loyola Farmer’s Market to experience her baking magic and see what her recipe calls for next. Whether you’re trying the popular ooey gooey butter cake or Kate’s favorite, the oatmeal raisin cookies, you’ll be tasting “only the best.”