A Cypress bakery is stepping up with a new location in West Houston. Milk Mustache is bringing its oversized cookies to Briargrove this fall.
Founder Tracy Jones tells CultureMap she started Milk Mustache when the pandemic disrupted her three-year old rideshare business. Initially, she began baking as a way to give back by donating them to first responders, drive-by birthday parties, and daycare centers. Over time, she began tweaking her recipe.
“I started to sit in front of my oven with a notebook. ‘Nope, it doesn’t have the texture or the right rise,’” she recalls. “I would bake and I would throw away. My family laughed at me for sitting in front of the oven on a stool. I was obsessed with perfecting this cookie. It had to be perfect to bring joy to others.”
The result of all that testing will be familiar to anyone who’s experienced the oversized cookies from New York’s celebrated Levain Bakery. Milk Mustache’s cookies weigh about six ounces each and are roughly four inches in diameter. The generous portion allowed Jones to achieve her ideal texture.
“It had to be crunchy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside,” she says. “We call it ‘baked to perfection’ where it is soft and dense and gooey but it’s not raw. That is the sweet spot.”
Currently, the bakery serves more than a dozen flavors, including chocolate chip, cookies and cream, red velvet with cream cheese, and white chocolate macadamia. In addition to the full-size cookies, Milk Mustache also offers a mini chocolate chip.
Initially, Milk Mustache opened as a mail order business, but customers can also visit the their Cypress location to pick up freshly baked treats. The new Briargrove bakery will be its first dedicated retail space. As a native Houstonian, Jones says she understood the value of being near both the Galleria and Memorial.
“The Uptown area is perfect. It’s central. It has that beautiful urban feel,” she says. “For me, it was totally no question that is what we are, and that’s where we needed to be. I’m super excited about it. It has great energy.”
Milk Mustache will occupy the space that’s currently home to Michael’s Cookie Jar. Renovations will begin in September with a planned October opening.
As an aside, Michael’s owner Michael Savino tells CultureMap that he opted not to renew his lease at 1864 Fountain View, but the bakery’s original location near West University Place and an expansion in the downtown tunnels will remain open. Savino will celebrate Michael’s 16th anniversary next month.
Turning back to Milk Mustache, Jones has big plans for her new store. The bakery will offer a dozen different cookie flavors and serve as a distribution point for specialty items like large format birthday cookies and corporate gifts. In addition, the new location will feature an all-new cookie dough bar where diners will be able to add various toppings to their selections.
“There’s a lot of fun things we are excited about,” Jones says. “We’re not doing them at our factory store. It is the launch of these additional services.”