Who’s tuning in with us tonight for Stand Up To Cancer? My Aunt Susan didn’t make it, but this Susan did. I stand up for Aunt Sue. And, Susansnaps stands up for all cancer patients & survivors. As we say, “Cancer is Not Okay!”
Musings about life, the universe and cookies.
By Vene Franco
Gourmet A Go-Go: Susansnaps
Gingersnap devotees know that the best versions of their favorite cookie provide plenty of spicy kick and a sweet finish. And some believe a really good gingersnap has the power to heal. Laura Stachler created Susansnaps in 2004 as a way of providing comfort to her college-aged daughter, Susan, then dealing with Hodgkin’s disease and chemotherapy treatments just before her graduation from Auburn University. Laura, a devoted baker, knew that ginger would provide not only a flavorful treat but also some relief to Susan and the other patients she visited (ginger has been used for centuries as a remedy for an upset stomach). Thankfully, Susan made a full recovery and is now partners with her mother in Laura’s Divine Desserts, an Atlanta-area gourmet gift company specializing in Susansnaps. The treats are available in tins, gift boxes, and bakery bags, and a portion of the proceeds goes towards organizations involved in cancer research (a copy of the family’s story is included in every package). The chewy/crunchy cookies make for a sweet ending, too, with their heady blend of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and dark molasses, all covered in a sparkling finish of sugar crystals. For more information or to order, contact Susansnaps at 404-497-9210 or online at susansnaps.com.
By Carla Felton
Snap Happy: Ginger Cookie Soothes in More Ways Than One
After her sister died from Hodgkin’s disease and both her daughter and husband endured chemotherapy for cancer, Laura Stachler needed something to smile about. A year ago, she and her daughter, Susan, formed a company that gets smiles all around; Susansnaps, a gingersnap cookie that is enthusiastically snapped up by all who taste them, has also changed the lives of Laura, Susan, and numerous others.
Susansnaps is a division of Laura’s Divine Desserts, a gourmet gift company run by Laura that previously focused on cake creations. Last year, she noticed that her gingersnap cookies, which she considered a small part of her company, were selling better than anything else. At the same time, she was looking for something uplifting to give hope to others coping with cancer. Between Susan and Laura, Susansnaps was created.
“We wanted to put a smile back on people’s faces,” Susan says. “It’s fun to get a package when you are sick.” “Ginger is good for curing nausea and soothes the stomach,” Laura said. “It’s difficult to know what to give someone who is going through something so difficult, but everyone likes food.”
The Stachlers donate a portion of all proceeds to cancer research to battle the disease that Laura’s sister, Susan’s namesake, died of. “It makes me feel good to know we are doing something good in her (Laura’s sister, Susan’s) honor,” Laura says.
With her degree in communications and marketing from Auburn University, Susan, now 25, took charge of the product packaging while Laura streamlined the baking. The cookies are all homemade with a special blend of spices and sealed to last months without any preservatives. Susan created six packaging designs, all available in bakery bags, gift boxes or tins, depending on the quantity of cookies. Classic Laura dressed in black and white polka dots; Breast Cancer Betty, in a pink hat representing breast cancer; and Sally Sailor reminds customers of ginger’s stomach-soothing quality. Pregnant Polly and Holiday Betty are self explanatory, and in her white dress, Nurse Ginger focuses her efforts on healing.
“People need something uplifting,” Susan says. “I’m a chocolate person, and when my mom started making gingersnaps, I didn’t think I’d like them, but they are addicting!” Susansnaps are sold in gift shops and coffeehouses and shipped nationwide through the Susansnaps website. Ranging from $8.95 to $19.95, the cookies are available locally at Dolce in Sandy Springs, the Swan House and Piece of Cake in Buckhead, and Nordstrom in Phipps Plaza.
By Suzanne Kayes
Enter to Win a Free Batch of Gingersnaps
A tearjerker calls for a cookie and a glass of milk. Make it a couple of cookies…and a tissue or two. Our story begins with Laura Stachler, a wife and mother with her own line of homemade cakes and sugary sweets called Laura’s Divine Desserts. A short time ago, it was simply about satisfying a sweet tooth. Today, she has a higher purpose- to honor her cancer-fighting family and soothe other ailing patients.
Within the course of a year, both Stachler’s husband of 29 years and their 22-year-old daughter Susan underwent chemotherapy. First, Ken began treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the spring of 2003. (With 29 distinct strains, this cancerous growth of white blood cells in the lymph nodes is far more common than cases of Hodgkin’s disease). His body responded well and things seemed to be looking up for the Atlanta family. Then, Susan, a senior at Auburn University, found a suspicious lump in her neck. A week before graduation, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s. Fifty years ago, according to the National Cancer Institute, this cancer has a high fatality rate. In fact, Susan’s aunt Sue, for whom she was named, succumbed to the disease at the tender age of 28. Two years ago, on the anniversary of her death, Susan started chemo.
Thankfully, a present-day diagnosis comes with a strong chance for a cure. Now 24, Susan, an adorable blonde, is in high spirits, busy baking with her mom in their own commercial kitchen two steps from their driveway. Together, the duo can prepare, package and ship 5,000 gingersnaps a day, she said. Having held her daughter’s hand through every hospital visit, Stachler decided to concentrate solely on her beloved gingersnaps, which she aptly named Susansnaps. For centuries, ginger’s been used to calm an upset stomach, ideal for nauseous chemo patients and even morning-sick moms. And with dreams of starting their own foundation one day, the Stachlers currently donate a portion of their proceeds to the American Cancer Society.
These sweet and soothing gingersnaps are the perfect blend of spices; ginger, cloves, and cinnamon mixed with dark molasses and topped with sugar crystals. To order, log onto www.susansnaps.com or call 404-497-9210.