DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. -- If you've taken a drive through southern Dutchess County, chances are you've rolled right past one of the finest cookie bakeries in the Hudson Valley and not even known it. And that's exactly how Anthony Cardoso of Cardoso Cookies likes it.
Cardoso, a life-long Dutchess resident, has used a commercial kitchen in Wappingers Falls to churn out tens of thousands of cookies since 2015 and, thanks to his online-only model, not a single one has landed in a store front.
"I like the mail order idea. It keeps things fresh. I produce the product for the order and there's nothing sitting on a shelf," Cardoso said. "Plus I get to go out and meet people. With a store front, you have to sit and wait for them to come to you."
Working in the food industry came naturally to Cardoso. His family owns Mamma Mia's Restaurant and he's been chipping in since his early teenage years. After graduating from John Jay High School in 1999, Cardoso attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park where he was a James Beard Foundation Scholarship recipient.
In August of 2015, Cardoso Cookies went online, literally. And while Cardoso's famous ultimate chocolate chip cookie can, and does, ship virtually anywhere, it all stems from marketing efforts closer to home.
Cardoso began selling and marketing his product at farmer's markets and other local events. It was the quality of his product and word of mouth that grew the business beyond the valley.
"We've shipped cookies to all 50 states now," Cardoso said. "We can even ship to American Samoa. We haven't yet, but I hope to soon."
What's next for the 36-year-old father of two?
Not a storefront, that's for sure. But a new cookie that could take Cardoso Cookies to American Samoa is in the works.
"We're working on a Brookie," Cardoso said. "It's a brownie chocolate chip cookie, and I have a feeling it will be pretty popular."
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