Calabasas-based Cookies for a Koz delivers more than just sweets

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Karen_Young_MDF100BY KAREN YOUNG

Roberta Koz Wilson has been called an “accidental baker.”

A former MTV marketing/sales executive, Wilson, a Calabasas resident, never imagined she’d end up making cookies for a living.

“I spent 21 years in the business world. I was never a baker,” exclaimed Wilson.  “I swear my mother channeled this,” she said with a wink.

The “this” Wilson is referring to is Cookies for a Koz,  a business created in honor of her mother, Audrey Koz, who passed away in 2005.

Dave Koz and Roberta Koz Wilson with their mother, Audrey, in front of the house she grew in in Manitoba, Canada.

Dave Koz and Roberta Koz Wilson with their mother, Audrey, in front of the house she grew in in Winnipeg,Manitoba, Canada.

“My mom never showed up without cookies. It gave her great happiness to bake for people,” said Wilson. “Having this business is my way of coping with her being gone.  It was always her dream to go into business, so I feel like this is her legacy. I didn’t realize the role it would play in my life.”

The other part of the business, a play on the name Koz  — is giving back for a cause.

Audrey Koz's classic chocolate chip cookie recipe was the first cookie in the Cookie for a Koz repertoire.

Audrey Koz's classic Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe was the first cookie in the Cookie for a Koz repertoire — with a special ingredient — english toffee chips!

“The Starlight Children’s Foundation was my mom’s favorite charity, so 10% of the profits are donated to them,” said Wilson, whose brother, the multi-award winning smooth jazz saxophonist /recording artist Dave Koz, is also one of their Global Ambassadors.

“Roberta Wilson and the entire Koz family have been tireless supporters of Starlight for several years now, and they are always coming up with creative ways to raise both funds and awareness for our mission,” said Paula Vanness, CEO of The Starlight Children’s Foundation.  “When Roberta came to us with her idea for Cookies for a Koz, we were just thrilled that she thought of us and are so honored to be associated with her mother’s legendary homemade cookies. Roberta’s generosity is inspiring to all of us here at Starlight every day.”

Lemon Poppyseed Shortbread was made specially for Labor Day.

Lemon Poppyseed Shortbread was made specially for Labor Day.

Cookie legend has it that Audrey’s cookies may have been a big part of her son’s music career taking off.  “She used to send cookies to all his meetings and performances,” quipped Wilson. “Everyone always said they were the best cookies they’d ever eaten.”

Wilson started the business with her mom’s original chocolate chip cookie recipe.  A Disney executive who tasted her cookies said “they’re not your average cookie,” and asked her what other flavors she made for a possible order.

Within one week, Wilson said that she had created three more flavors — oatmeal raisin, white chocolate raspberry and snickerdoodle.

That was a year and a half ago. Since then, Wilson has introduced special new flavors for the holidays — Red Velvet (Valentines Day and  remains in the basic flavors), Key Lime (St. Patrick’s Day),  Spring Sprinkle (Spring/Easter), Apple Pie  (her brother’s idea for Mother’s Day),  Red, White and Blueberry (raspberries, white chocolate and blueberries for July 4) and Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread (Labor Day).   For Thanksgiving, Wilson says she’s thinking about  Pumpkin Chocolate Chip.  And the lastest? Vegan Chocolate Chip !

Oatmeal raisin is fresh and soft.

Oatmeal Raisin is fresh and soft with a hint of cinnamon.

“My kitchen is a lab for trying out different recipes,” said Wilson.  “I have certain base flavors and then I just test a lot from there.”

Dave Koz thought of having the Apple Pie flavor for Mothers Day this year.

Dave Koz thought of having the Apple Pie flavor for Mothers Day this year.

Since the Disney order, Wilson’s accidental profession has taken off.  She’s participated in Concern Foundation and Starlight Foundation galas, as well as a variety of boutiques and events. She’s done the radio and TV circuit with KTLA  Morning Show, KIIS FM, Ryan Seacrest, KFWB and AM 830, among others.

And the orders keep pouring in.

Ken Levinson, CEO  CJ Ventures, started a promotion on a professional social network for the health care field, medicalmingle.com, and has a weekly drawing to win an order of cookies from Cookies for a Koz.

“Great cookies, great people and a great cause. That to me is a Win-Win for everyone,” said Levinson. “Our members absolutely rave about the cookies that Roberta makes. I think there would be a lot of disappointed members if we ever discontinued the weekly drawing, so I have no intention of doing so.

Roberta Koz Wilson in the Wango Tango VIP tent withe "Dancing With the Stars" winner Mario Ballas.

Roberta Koz Wilson in the Wango Tango VIP tent withe "Dancing With the Stars" winner Mario Ballas.

This past May, Wilson shared the limelight in the Wango Tango VIP room and introduced  her  cookies to a slew of celebrities and rockers, including  Mark Ballas (Dancing with the Stars),  Manny on the Street and JoJo (KIIS FM),  Angela and Vanessa Simmons,  All American Rejects, Corbin Bleu (High School Musical) and Soulja Boy.

The cookie version of Red Velvet has white chocolate morsels.

The cookie version of Red Velvet has white chocolate morsels.

Dentist Devoree Prepsky orders  Cookies for a Koz on a regular basis. “Not only are the cookies some of the best I’ve ever tasted [and I come from a long line of cookie experts], I love the thought that I’m helping to support the The Starlight Foundation.  By sending out dozens of these wonderful cookies to my colleagues throughout the year,  I feel like I’m paying it forward.  One good deed becomes another and so on. It all feels good and tastes good at the same time.”

Each gift package comes classically wrapped with brown ribbon.

Each gift package comes classically wrapped with brown ribbon.

Each cookie is individually wrapped for freshness. Attached is the story of Cookies for a Koz.

Each cookie is individually wrapped for freshness. Attached is the story of Cookies for a Koz.

Cookies are available to order online and come beautifully packaged in a crisp brown cardboard box with a thick brown ribbon.  Cookies are all individually wrapped for freshness and come with a personalized note and the story of Cookies for a Koz.  A Bakers Dozen gift box is $19.95 with two flavors.  Two dozen are $35.95 with three flavors. Party trays are available in the Los Angeles area. Up to three flavors are available for the two dozen tray and up to four flavors available for the three dozen tray.

A brief review from this writer’s household make Cookies for a Koz a true sweet find.

The Red White and Blue cookie with raspberries, white chocolate and blueberries was created in honor of America's birthday.

The Red White and Blue cookie with raspberries, white chocolate and blueberries was created in honor of America's birthday.

“These cookies are so good, they’re ridiculous,” said my son 16, only to be echoed by his 13 year old sister, “These cookies are crazy good. I can’t believe how good they are.”

As for me, I got my hand caught in the cookie jar.

“Mom,” said my son, “how many cookies did you eat?” after noticing the box seemed surprisingly light.  “Ummm, maybe four…uh, five?” I sheepishly replied.

“Four or five!” my daughter exclaimed.  “That’s not good for you.”

Maybe not, but the cookies are sooo good.  Everything in moderation, right? A perfect quick crisp, yet soft  bite on the outside with an incredibly moist inside.  The flavors are incredibly fresh. Lemon Poppy Seed has a taste of grated lemon zest and real poppy seeds; the variations of white and dark chocolate are rich; the red velvet is subtle with a white chocolate twist; oatmeal raisin with a pinch of cinnamon tastes like it just popped out of the oven; the snickerdoodle has that perfect combination of  sugar and cinnamon in  a soft cookie.

Good thing we didn’t order the party tray. Sigh.

For further information, www.cookiesforakoz.com.  Or contact Roberta Koz Wilson 818-223-9365  or  roberta@cookiesforakoz.com GET 10% OFF WHEN WITH MY DAILY FIND. ENTER MDF IN THE DISCOUNT CODE

Karen Young is the Editor/Publisher of My Daily Find.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

  • Cheryl

    I’ve been a lucky eater of Roberta and Audrey’s cookies for years – these cookies truly are a delicious, made-with-love find that benefits a great cause at the same time.

  • http://www.jackiehouchin.com Jackie Houchin

    They sound soooo yummy. I wish the Mother’s Day Apple Pie cookie was available year round too!

  • Susan Reuven

    I have also, been lucky enough to eat both Roberta and Audrey’s cookies. Every time I eat a cookie, it warms my heart knowing that I have also made a contribution to a wonderful cause (Starlight), BUT the other benefit….the cookies are absolutely, incredibly delicious. Who wouldn’t want a warm delicious cookie!! Thanks, Cookies for a Koz!!

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