Amy Dailey, the woman behind Amy’s Cookies in the Village Market, is a hairdresser by trade, but in recent years she has devoted herself entirely to two things — her family and her cookies.
“Hair and cookies don’t really go well together,” she said with a laugh.
For eight years now, Amy’s Cookies have been a familiar sight at the Village Market. The homemade cookies sit wrapped in plastic, in a small tray by the register or near the deli counter, and are available for $1.25 each. Students are familiar with them — Dailey said that she sells about 5,000 cookies each year — but may not be familiar with their source. In fact, Dailey, the sole force behind the entire venture, lives just three minutes away from the Market. With a single oven in her kitchen, she produces enough cookies to feed an entire town.
The venture started from one recipe. Unsatisfied with other recipes for chocolate chip cookies, Dailey started experimenting. Her grandmother taught her to bake when she was young, and she continued to practice all throughout high school. So, she used her experience to perfect her chocolate chip cookie recipe. Pretty soon, she had friends and family telling her it was the best cookie they ever had. At the time, she was looking for something to do in the mornings before she went to work at Genesis Salon in Mount Vernon, so she started selling cookies.
“It’s hard to find a place to actually sell them from,” she said. But then she noticed bread at the market that was the product of another house-based venture and asked her husband to check if she could sell there. “I was too shy,” she said. The owner of the market at the time said they could give it a shot, and Amy’s Cookies has grown ever since. It started with just chocolate chip cookies (still a best-seller), but now includes everything from no-bakes to sugar cookies.
Dailey has several ties to Kenyon. She is originally from nearby Bellville, Ohio, but moved to Mount Vernon to be with her husband, Shawn Dailey, who is the director of annual giving at Kenyon. Her two children attend Mount Vernon High School and she hopes they will go to Kenyon when they are older. Even her house, which is near a section of woods owned by Kenyon, touches College property.
When she is not baking, Dailey likes to tend to the two acres surrounding her house. “We do a lot of gardening, my husband and I,” she said. “We’re definitely homesteaders.” She estimates that about 35 percent of her family’s diet comes from their own backyard. Her seven chickens provide more than enough eggs for her cookies, though the rest of her ingredients are store-bought.
“I would benefit in having a cow, because I sure go through a lot of butter,” she said.
In terms of cookie making, Dailey loves to branch out. She finds that Kenyon students are willing to stray from the typical chocolate chip cookie and looks forward to their return each summer, adding that business is slower when they are gone. She also opts for taste over appearance.
“I can’t decorate a cake to save my life,” she said. “But I can bake a really good cake.”
As for preferences in cookie eating, Dailey doesn’t really have any.
“I’m actually a doughnut person myself,” she said.