by Suzanne Wright
It’s a Snap! Mother-Daughter Team Bakes Cookies to Fight Cancer
Laura Stachler and her daughter Susan are the team behind Susansnaps, which markets gourmet gingersnap cookies as the perfect gift for patients and families of those battling cancer—as well as for birthdays and other occasions. Laura Stachler, whose gourmet specialty shop Laura’s Divine Desserts produces up to 15,000 of the cookies per week, talked with The Sunday Paper about how Susansnaps came to be.
Q Susansnaps is a sweet ending to a tough situation.
A In 2004, we were hit with back-to-back cancer diagnoses for my daughter and my husband.
My family’s everything—Ken and my four darling children. Everything basically came to a dead stop. Chemotherapy is very grueling.
What kind of cancer did Susan have?
Hodgkin’s. What is so extraordinary is that Susan, who is named for my sister Sue, who died of cancer, shared the same cancer and the same name. They were even the same age.
That is just spooky.
They even underwent the same treatment. But Susan had a happy outcome. Both she and Ken are doing well.
So how was Susansnaps born out of that experience?
[In the hospital] we saw a lot of lonely people with a lot of weight on their shoulders. We wanted to do something to put a smile on their faces. So we started baking gingersnaps and Susan passed them out to people. That’s how we ended up with this fantastic little cookie! People loved having something delicious, receiving a little gift. Pretty soon people were craving them.
They’re delicious; I love the retro sugar crystals. Were the cookies for the patient or families?
Both. Cancer involves the whole family. And Ginger is known as a remedy for an upset stomach.
Some folks like chewy cookies and some prefer crispy. Susansnaps are a little bit of both: crispy on the outside but kind of chewy in the center.
Susan and I are totally into texture. We like to think we mastered it.
This venture must have been a welcome distraction for Susan.
Absolutely. She’s incredibly creative and ambitious. She always wanted to do something for her aunt and dad; we never expected she would be presented with this herself. But she did some design work and along with her ability in marketing, she is helping make a difference.
Sometimes an office worker or neighbor or even family member doesn’t know what to do. We hope that they think of Susansnaps and give a little treat.
Where are Susansnaps sold?
We sell them at on our Web site (www.susansnaps.com), at gift stores across the country and at the Ebar at Nordstrom. They were very enthusiastic about our donation program.
Tell us about that.
We just received nonprofit status for the Susan Carver Foundation; Carver is my maiden name and was my sister’s name. We’re passionate about making a difference and donating [a portion of] our cookie profits [to cancer research].
And how is the business going?
We bake Susansnaps nonstop. We’re tickled at how well-received we’ve been, that we’re brining happiness to others. We’ve been astonished at how many people say gingersnaps are their favorite cookie. It would have thought it would be chocolate chip. SP