Cookies that blaze their own way - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Cookies that blaze their own way

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At this cookie shop in Waitsfield, the ingredients most people use to make the treats aren't around.

Liz Lovely's cookies are gluten free and vegan.  That means no wheat -- no dairy. "They're cookies that happen to be gluten free and vegan but stand on their own," said Dan Holtz.

Husband and wife Dan and Liz Holtz started the business 10 years ago."We were vegan and tired of crappy vegan cookies. And we want them to be good, that happen to be vegan," Holtz said.

When Liz Lovely started it was making around 1,200 cookies a day.  Since then it's grown by ten times that.  With some help from new automated equipment the cookie company is cranking out 12,000 a day. Much of that growth is thanks to the national television show Shark Tank. The show features business pitches from entrepreneurs to a panel of potential investors. "Then you take away eggs and butter and you got what Kevin O'Leary said on shark tank, 'What do you make them with, sand?'" Holtz said.

But the show's judges weren't impressed enough to make a deal and the couple walked away empty handed. "We got slaughtered and what you see on television lasts eight minutes. The beating we took, took an hour.

Reporter Gina Bullard: How did you feel, you didn't make a deal?

Dan Holtz: We wanted to throw up, it was pretty horrible.

But there is a sweet side.  The exposure alone boosted business. "We've doubled this business since we aired on Shark Tank,"  Holtz said.

Sales rose from $1 million a year to $2 million. Liz Lovely also doubled its staff to 20.

Reporter Gina Bullard: What's next for Liz Lovely?

Dan Holtz: World domination! No, we're releasing a whole new line of cookies. Smaller snackable cookies which have been a huge request from our customers for years.

The smaller cookies will also be crunchy -- a departure from its 10 chewy varieties now. Liz Lovely is also hoping to move to a larger facility in the next two years where it will continue it's Made in Vermont cookie quest.

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