Sometimes it's a matter of taste.
When a major specialty grocery chain offered baker and businesswoman Becky Nelson an opportunity as cookie vendor for their Texas stores, she had another idea. She went after her "dream account": Neiman Marcus.
Soon, shortbread cookies from her North Dallas company, Le Gourmet Baking, were sold year-round through the high-end luxury retailer with local roots.
And now, she's opening her first standalone shop, the result of years of growing her small business.
Le Gourmet Baking opened, quietly, in January the Hakan International Building between the North Dallas Tollway and Inwood Road in Dallas. It's an area buzzing with food-focused spots like Eatzi's, Trader Joe's, Mesero and more.
Nelson's rich, buttery shortbread cookies are inspired by cooking idol Ina Garten, a statement says.
In addition to the signature shortbread, which can be customized, the shop offers lunch to-go in the form of sandwiches and tartines (that's a French-style open-faced sandwich with a spreadable topping), salads, quiches, soups and sides like a three-cheese pimento cheese spread. The kids menu includes a PBJ finger sandwich or grilled cheese. Here's the full menu.
But back to those cookies:
They're low in sugar, but "packed with European butter and real vanilla," says the press release. Expect a distinct "ooh/ahh experience" upon the first bite, they say.
Nelson's creative designs -- namely one featuring the classic NM logo, available exclusively through the retailer -- helped her land a coveted spot in The Book, the company's famous, opulent holiday guide.
Coupled with a fanbase of local individuals and companies familiar with her Park Cities meal-delivery service (known as Le Gourmet Valet, which opened in 2012), that success led to an opportunity to move the business out of her home kitchen into the new brick-and-mortar storefront, the statement says.
Le Gourmet Baking is now open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 5601 W. Lovers Lane, Suite 110.