"I like the local heritage grains and also give money and support back into the community."
What makes a cookie a Tucson cookie? Hint: it’s not saguaros.
Arizona Baking Company highlights the flavors of Tucson using Sonoran mesquite flour and heritage grains such as White Sonora Wheat.
Why go through the trouble of using these ingredients when mass-produced flour is readily available and cheap?
“I like the local heritage grains and also give money and support back into the community,” said Alan Kohler, founder and owner of Arizona Baking Company.
Back in 2001, Kohler worked in kitchens and restaurants in New York. He also lived in Korea and Chicago before ending up back in Tucson to continue his higher education in second language acquisition and learning. Now, he is an assistant professor and assistant director of the writing program in the Department of English at the University of Arizona.
In September of 2019, Kohler officially started Arizona Baking Company.
Now, the company is hitting its stride with production and community involvement with organizations such as Iskashitaa Refugee Network.
“We currently try to support them whenever possible with product donations at their events and we are in talks to partner with them on the production side,” Kohler said.
In addition, Arizona Baking Company has a partnership with San Xavier Co-Op Farm, which is where they obtain wild harvested mesquite flour. BKW Farms in Marana grows, harvests, and mills the White Sonora Wheat, while Don Guerra of Barrio Bread provides mentorship and support. Reproductions, Inc. does all of the printing.
“We’ll be selecting other organizations every quarter to help us give back a portion of our profits throughout the year to local growers, farmers, [and] producers,” Kohler said.
The company’s flagship Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix features the White Sonora Wheat and the mesquite flour.
Along with the two flours, each bag of the mix includes chocolate chips, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. At home, you’ll need to mix in a fresh egg, butter, and vanilla to create the final delectable cookie dough.
Pro tip: use brown butter instead of normal butter and sprinkle on some flaky salt for that extra je ne sais quoi.
Arizona Baking Company Retail Locations
- Food Conspiracy Co-op
- 5 Points Market & Restaurant
- Maynards Market & Restaurant
- Exo Roast Co.
- Sundays at the 5 Points Farmers Market
Place online orders at azbakingcompany.com.
While the cookie mix is the only mix currently available, stay tuned for others such as pancake mix.