Profile: Rogue Cookies

By Columbus Alive
From the December 13, 2012 edition

“Mmmm, I love a cookie that tastes like stuffing!”

This gushing appraisal was made on air by “Anderson Live” guest host Andy Cohen (aka BravoAndy, aka Bravo TV programming honcho) when Cohen bit into a limited edition Thanksgiving cookie created by our own Rogue Bakery. Note: Though I wrote “our own” about Columbus/Cleveland-based Rogue, it’s actually the clever treat business launched by social media. See, specializing in artisanal (not “arty”) and, occasionally, audacious cookies (the Thanksgiving side dish collection included a surprising “green bean casserole”), Rogue is a frequently tweeting and internet-only company. In a charming incidence of hi-tech convenience (you order by clicking I WANT COOKIES) circling back onto the low-tech personal, Rogue’s goodies arrive via home delivery by the guy who actually bakes them.

The busy fellow (it’s basically a one-man operation) behind the white paper bag full of deliciousness walking up to your door — as well as behind Rogue’s kicky branding and tickly Twitter, Facebook and website messages — is a reformed physics major and dayjob industrial designer/engineer named Carl Acampado. Acampado started Rogue as a Twitter pioneer three years ago after becoming frustrated with what he described as the unavailability of great homemade cookies in Columbus.

Lest you guess Rogue is just about envelope-pushing flavors (like an addictive, smoky, slightly spicy, sweet and savory number made with bacon, corn, cheese and chipotle only available at Ace of Cups), the website’s cheeky “pinup” roll call shows Rogue’s regular stable is full of easily approachable styles. In what reads like an online matchmaking site, each cookie personally describes its irresistible attributes and likeability; and from “classic milk chocolate chip” to “I’m not a snickerdoodle!” (i.e. snickerdoodle minus cinnamon) to (my favorites) a couple kitchen sinker types — “oatmeal dark chocolate pecan cherry” and “cornflake marshmallow chip” — they taste as good as they look and sound.

For the holidays (attention last-minute shoppers!), Rogue’s offering a festively packaged “Silver Box” of a dozen, limited-run, terrific seasonal cookies ($20). These include yuletide tempters such as peppermint stick, eggnog, candied ginger and molasses. Hint: I hear if you leave one of these out for Santa, you’ll receive a couple extra presents.

Photo by Tim Johnson