Photography by Kevin Thomas Garcia
Zachary Schmahl: Cookie Master
What does creativity mean to you?
Creativity means taking something of yourself, putting it into what you do and making it special each and every time.
How do you continue to push yourself to be better at what you do?
By keeping my palate refined and by always tasting and looking for something new and exciting that inspires me. I look for interesting ingredients. I see things all around and I like to taste different foods and think how I can put that into a cookie.
What is it that inspires you?
My parents inspire me. My dad has always been a huge inspiration of mine and getting to work beside my mom every day inspires me to keep things close to my heart always. Knowing that keeping family close is really important. That will always inspire me.
What’s next for you and for Schmackarys?
We just opened up our second location and hope to open up a third in the next year.
What’s your favorite cookie today?
Today, I’m going to say I love the Monster Cookie. It’s oatmeal with peanut butter and M&Ms and chocolate, with a little bit of raisins for some chew – it’s amazing all around.
If you’re in New York, head to Schmackarys in Hells Kitchen or in Williamsburg. http://www.schmackarys.com
Our first interview was sitting in Zach’s apartment while he baked a dozen Oatmeal Scotchie cookies and he talked about starting a business. He was selling his cookies online at the time and talking about wanting to open up a storefront eventually. That was then. Now, not only is Schmackarys a storefront in Hells Kitchen with a line out the door, but he’s opened a second location in Williamsburg. His is a success story we got to see unfold before us and I’m pleased to report that he’s still the nice guy you want to share a beer with (and a cookie, of course).