Batch & Box cookie shop opens in Del Mar Highlands
With the smell of freshly baked cookies sweetly thick in the air and a line forming expectantly outside the door, Meghann Smith bustled about in an apron carefully placing cookies on display on the counter of her newly opened bakery Batch & Box. It had long been a dream for the Carmel Valley resident to open up her own bakery, but she never thought a dream so sweet could come true.
Smith thought up the cookie shop concept out of the need for an easy, affordable and delicious way for people to share a bit of kindness and sense of community. The community has responded in kind with an encouraging outpouring of support.
When Batch & Box opened its doors on Oct. 24 in Del Mar Highlands Town Center, Smith wasn’t sure what to expect opening a business during a pandemic. To her delight, on opening day they sold twice as many cookies as they had anticipated.
“There was a socially-distanced line all day, it was super exciting,” Smith said.
Smith, Batch & Box founder and chief cookie officer, is a former corporate recruiter who always loved baking cookies and sharing them with the people she cared about. She was told numerous times that she should go into business for herself but she never quite believed it was possible.
Her husband Justin, a medical device engineer at NuVasive, encouraged her to leave her corporate job and go for it.
“My mother had passed away a year ago and I thought: there’s a limited amount of tomorrows or somedays in your life,” she said.
While she was all in, the timing posed a few challenges: Smith is a mother to a three-year-old and a one-year-old and currently eight months pregnant— she signed the lease at Del Mar Highlands 10 days before the COVID-19 lockdown in March.
During the last few months Smith said she wanted to back out a million times as the pandemic surged and she watched the heartbreak of restaurants shuttering for good. It was Justin that wouldn’t let her crumble and kept reminding her of Batch & Box’s purpose.
More than just “slinging sugar,” Smith said her purpose is about sharing kindness and connection with the community. Smith wanted to share her passion for baking amazing and delicious cookies, packaging them beautifully and giving them as a way to say “thank you”, “I’m proud of you” or “I love you”, as a simple and sweet gesture of gratitude and kindness.
“There’s something magical that happens when you bake something from the heart and share it with people you care about,” Smith said. “More than ever, people are isolated, disconnected and lonely. We need more kindness and connection.”
With Batch & Box’s focus always on paying that kindness forward, when you open a box the inside reads: “Who else needs a batch?”
Smith said she became determined that they could open safely during the pandemic and it was rewarding to work with other small businesses all pulling together to make it happen, from the general contractor to the company that makes their long, signature boxes that fit six heaping cookies inside.
Batch & Box cookies are baked in-house daily with real butter, real vanilla and theist-quality chocolates, fruits and nuts. They sell six signature cookies year-round and two rotational seasonal flavors.
“They’re kind of a big hamburger-style cookie, crunchy on the outside and moist and gooey in the middle,” Smith said.
The Classic, their signature dough stacked with milk and dark chocolate chips, is a top seller: “We can’t make them fast enough.”
The lineup features The Lady with raspberries and white chocolate and The Wonder, which is packed with butterscotch morsels, toasted coconut, milk chocolate morsels, and toasted walnuts.
For the peanut butter lovers, there is the Cocoa PB, a dark chocolate base with peanut butter chip and the Cocoa Wally features a dark chocolate base with dark chocolate, white chocolate, walnuts and caramel with a pinch of sea salt. The Doodle is their spin on a cinnamon snickerdoodle.
Batch & Box does offer a gluten-free cookie and they are working on perfecting a vegan oatmeal banana chocolate chip cookie.
During the month of December, they will feature the Cocoa Peppermint Chunk and the Ginger, a ginger molasses cookie with glaze on top, as well as their festively decorated sugar cookies.
Smith is still pinching herself that she was fortunate to open up her first bakery in Del Mar Highlands Town Center. Her “simple and classy” black and white shop serves up milk to pair with the cookies and there is a patio for outdoor seating around the Drifter, the whale sculpture, and currently, a 36-foot-tall surfboard Christmas tree that lights up and plays music.
Sitting outside and having yourself a little treat, “It feels like life is normal for a minute,” she said.
The bakery is located at 12843 El Camino Real, Ste. 107, Carmel Valley. They are open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. https://www.batchandbox.com
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