Home Fairfield Kathy’s Cookies to mark 15 years in Milford

Kathy’s Cookies to mark 15 years in Milford

Kathy Klein features eight flavors of her homemade biscotti at her shop. Photo by Brian A. Pounds
Kathy Klein features eight flavors of her homemade biscotti at her shop. Photo by Brian A. Pounds

BY HUGH BAILEY
Hearst Connecticut Media

Two years after Hurricane Sandy swamped her business, Kathy Klein, of Kathy’s Famous Cookies, is still doing what she does best. And she gleaned a few important lessons for her bakery that day — one of them being a knack for inventory.

“We were shut down for two weeks, so we really learned to gauge what we’ll need from one day to the next,” Klein said.

It’s a four-person operation at her Milford store, but the core of the business is stored in a safe place.

“No one knows my recipes,” Klein said. “It’s all in my head.”

Almost 15 years after selling her first dessert — to Amity Meat Center in Woodbridge — Klein now supplies stores and markets from Stamford to New Haven and beyond. She makes multiple varieties of cookies, cupcakes, scones and muffins, plus biscotti, which might be her most popular offering.

“We have this following of people who keep an eye on what we have. Customers call us and say they never had a cupcake that tasted like ours, or ‘I never had a cookie like this,’” she said. “It’s extremely gratifying that people take the time to call.”

She said she makes all her products from scratch using only fresh ingredients and no preservatives, including for her packaged cookies.

Kathy’s Famous Cookies at 252 Melba St. in Milford. Photo by Brian A. Pounds
Kathy’s Famous Cookies at 252 Melba St. in Milford. Photo by Brian A. Pounds

Stores that sell her goods include ShopRite; Adams/IGA in Milford, Derby and Shelton; A&S in Fairfield; Sapore in Trumbull; and LaRocca’s Country Market in Stamford.

They also can be found at her shop at 252 Melba St. in Milford. Though the store uses every one of its 800 square feet of floor space, Klein said she’s not in a rush to expand. “I want to work within my means,” she said. “This is a specialty business. I don’t want to do too much and lose the quality. I like to micromanage.”

She transitioned from a career in business 15 years ago. “I started in advertising. When I was given my pink slip, I said I’d start marketing this cookie I had baked since I was little,” she said. “It was something I always wanted to do.”

Despite her growing business, it remains a small operation — Klein, a full-time driver and two part-time workers.

Tina Roberts, owner of Cafe Atlantique in downtown Milford, said her business receives Kathy’s Famous Cookies deliveries seven days a week. “They come here fresh daily,” she said. “She’s just awesome. I try to buy everything as locally as possible and I get people asking, ‘Where do you get these?’”

Klein said it’s been a challenge running her business, working six days a week, while also raising two boys, now teenagers. “When I started, they were two and four months old,” she said.

“It’s hard work, and you have to give up a lot — but I still come home and make dinner every night.”

Hearst Connecticut Media includes four daily newspapers: Connecticut Post, Greenwich Time, The Advocate (Stamford) and The News Times (Danbury). See ctpost.com for more from this reporter.

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