Meet Le Cookie Monkey

Le Cookie Monkey was born in October of 2009 with a spark in its eye, a sweet tooth in its mouth and a zest for bringing hand-crafted cookies, cakes and desserts to good girls and boys no matter what the age. The good people here at Le Cookie Monkey have a passion for making folks happy with our decadent, yet funky, sweet treats and this love funnels into each and every carefully mixed recipe. You can see it, feel it and best of all, you can taste it!

The magic begins with a commitment to purchasing local, fresh, never-frozen ingredients and continues with the precious art of baking, mixing and decorating, resulting in a delightfully vibrant, happy treat that melts on your tongue and jolts the smile.

We feature a specialized variety of cookies, cupcakes, all-occasion cakes, wedding cakes and other desserts for pretty much any celebration you have in mind. Our sweets are perfect for cheering up a friend, adding a splash of fun to a corporate affair, offering unique alternatives or additions to a wedding cake and just satisfying that sweet tooth in general. So we’d love to hear from you, get to know you and make a special dessert just for your festivity!

We’ll leave you with our favorite mantra: “Monkey see, Monkey eat, Monkey baking yummy treats.”

Life is terrific, so enjoy!

 

Meet Gary Olson, Owner

Gary Olson, Le Cookie MonkeyThe moment that I stepped foot in Le Cookie Monkey for the first time my senses were overwhelmed with the scents of sweetness and the warmth of feeling that reminded me of a bygone era. An era where a family’s life revolved around a home kitchen, staffed by one person. The Grande Dame of that kitchen, mom of course, made that part of my life a wonderful respite from the troubles that any day brought. This is the ambiance that is captured at Le Cookie Monkey.

Earlier in my adult life, I worked as an institutional cook and I really enjoyed the feeling I got when someone would go out of their way and come up to me to compliment a particular dish that I had made. I received my initial training as a cook in the U.S. Army and went from there to a hospital cafeteria environment. I have not worked in the culinary arts field for many years, but I have always yearned to return to the field and I have finally found my way to do it by becoming the owner of Le Cookie Monkey.

Born and raised in Portland, since the 1980’s I have worked in business focusing on the administration and management of employer sponsored pension plans, primarily focusing on 401(k) plans. I worked in downtown Portland at U.S. Bancorp, and part time at The Oregonian doing sports statistics until 1987 when I moved to Los Angeles. While raising a family in LA that includes four wonderful children, I worked at Transamerica Life from 1987 until 2000. I moved from there to Union Bank in Glendale, CA in 2000 and stayed with them until 2009, after which I went to a small Third Party Administrator in Fresno, CA where I ended my career in pension plans. I enjoyed the work of ensuring that pension plans met the needs of both the employers and their employees who I worked with, but I am elated to be back in Portland near family and friends, and to be back in the culinary arts field. I am particularly happy to be working in the bakery putting smiles on people’s faces with yummy sweet treats!

Now that I am the owner of Le Cookie Monkey, I couldn’t be a happier man! The Founder and prior owner, Amber Witherow, built Le Cookie Monkey from scratch, just like all of our sweet confections are made. I intend to retain the tradition of scratch baking that has made Le Cookie Monkey a successful business. In addition to the current menu of cakes, cookies, cupcakes, mini-desserts, bars and tarts, I hope to add new items to our offerings in the near future. All of Amber’s recipes are in hand and the same wonderful staff with remain in place to serve you.

Please come by for a visit and enjoy one of our cookies that are baked up fresh for you every day, or just come in to say "Hi”. As we sometimes call it “The Monkey" loves You!

 

Aisha - Head Pastry Chef

Aisha LodjicAisha is a Portland native. She moved to California in 2011 to pursue her career in baking. Aisha started out at SRJC(Santa Rosa Junior College) where she completed their baking & pastry art certificate program. During that time Aisha also worked under Dominique Cortez of Dominique's Sweets. After her completion of the program, Aisha chose to further her education by attending the Culinary Institute of America in Saint Helena, CA. She graduated with an AOS in Baking and Pastry Art in May of 2014.

Aisha has also worked at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, UT, as a production baker and at Papa Haydn as a cake decorator. She loves picking berries and making fruit pies. Her favorite cookie is Chocolate Chip Hazelnut, preferably under-baked. In her limited free-time she enjoys social dancing.

 

Catherine (goes by Cat) - Customer Service Monkey Mama

CatherineCat is an Oregon native. Her love for baking led her to attend Le Cordon Blue Patisserie & Baking Program from which she graduated in 2012. She is currently pursuing a business degree at Portland Community College to learn more about owning and starting a business. She loves to make pies & decorate cookies.

When she’s not working she’s dancing to Cher or playing with her cats. Her favorite dessert is cheesecake.

 

Amber Witherow, Founder

Amber Darrington, Le Cookie MonkeyCreating Le Cookie Monkey was a dream come true for me. Sharing my passion and love for delicious handed-down recipes with the people of Portland, couldn't have been more fun! It is with great pleasure and honor that I hand "The Monkey" over to Gary and team to continue satisfying your sweet tooth! I reside in Port Angeles, WA, where I now live with my boyfriend and his two wonderful children who are my new little monkey's to bake for!