16 March 2022
When Vanessa Polack added some Cayman Sea Salt to a batch of cookies she had baked, the mouthwatering salty-and-sweet taste told her straightaway she had stumbled on something really special.
“We had been running the Cayman Sea Salt Company as a family for over 15 years, and it was time to add another product line into the mix,” Vanessa says. “It started very simply from making a batch of cookies one day and adding our Cayman Sea Salt on top. It was a perfect pairing, and that’s how the idea was born.”
Launched in 2020, the Cayman Cookie Company is a family-run business, too, just like the Cayman Sea Salt Company, which began in 2005 with Vanessa’s mother, Monique, and her sister, Olivia. The idea for that company was simply to make gourmet sea salt with Cayman Islands seawater in order to tell the world something about the Cayman Islands through taste. Now Vanessa has taken charge of the cookie company with Vanessa’s mother, Monique, acting in a consultative capacity, with Olivia running Cayman Sea Salt Company.
The family businesses now span three generations, as Vanessa’s daughter, Victoria, has joined the team in the most important role of all: cookie tester.
“She is very good at eating them and she also makes suggestions on flavours, which usually include sprinkles,” Vanessa says.
The Cayman Sea Salted Chocolate Chunk shortbread is the signature flavour of Cayman Cookie Company.
“This cookie was chosen as an ode to our British roots with a classic butter shortbread, nice big chunks of semi-sweet chocolate and adding a twist with the Cayman Sea Salt sprinkled on top," says Vanessa, adding that for the past holiday season, a limited-edition ginger rum butter glaze cookie was also offered.
"It went over very well and we are now working on a coconut flavour for the spring.”
To help create a unique Cayman brand, the cookie packaging features pictures of Cayman-style cottages, catboats and turtles. “We love to be ambassadors of the Cayman Islands and highlight its people and beauty and we wanted to do that though our product and packaging,” Vanessa says.
Although Cayman Cookie Company does not have its own store, its products are available at various local shops, including Foster's and West Indies Wine Company in Camana Bay.
These days, Vanessa is working hard to expand the availability of her cookies beyond Cayman's shores.
“I want to bring a piece of the Cayman Islands to the world and am focusing on trying to develop a Caribbean-inspired line of cookies and bringing them to market in the U.S. and Canada,” she says. "We also have them available to order online through our website — caymancookiecompany.com — for overseas orders, as well as a few retail locations in Canada.”
This article was originally featured in the March 2022 print edition of Camana Bay Times.