A Houston cookie pop-up will soon unveil its permanent home in the Heights. Pudgy’s Fine Cookies will celebrate its grand opening this Sunday, July 31.
Owner Van Teamer tells CultureMap she started Pudgy’s after exploring her interest in baking during the pandemic. Part of an entrepreneurially minded Vietnamese family, she considered opening a franchise cookie store but found the products to be too sweet. Working with her sister, she began testing recipes.
Eventually, they settled on a thick, chewy cookie that’s a little gooey in the middle.
“We started with the basics. We wanted to achieve that thick, New York-style look,” she says. “The chocolate chip probably took us three months.”
Chocolate chip became “the Pudgy,” the bakery’s top seller. Other customer favorites include the Bonanza Brulee, a cookie that combines the flavors of creme brulee and bananas Foster, and the Wild Campfire, a s’mores-inspired cookie with toasted marshmallows and chocolate chunks.
After winning the approval of friends and family, Teamer and her family started to sell the cookies at markets around Houston. When baking supplies and boxes overwhelmed her home, she began looking for a permanent space. Teamer found a willing collaborator in Josh Deleon, the ice cream wizard behind CultureMap Tastemaker Awards winner Underground Creamery. The duo decided to share a space that would serve as a retail outlet and bakery for Pudgy’s and a kitchen for Underground, which distributes all of its ice cream in highly-coveted weekly “drops’ that sell out in under a minute.
“She reached out to me about looking for kitchen spaces. I like her product a lot and proposed this [shared space],” Deleon says. “I think sharing a kitchen between someone who makes cookies and an ice cream company is a match made in heaven.”
Located at 1010 N. Shepherd Dr., Pudgy’s joins Crawfish Cafe and newly opened Vietnamese restaurant Dinette in a shopping center that’s just south of 11th St. Teamer says she selected the location after consulting with her customers, many of whom liked having an excuse to come inside the loop for shopping and other activities.
Held from 2:30-6:30 pm, Sunday’s grand opening festivities will feature a free tote for the first 50 customers and free cookies for the first 100. Everyone who stops by will be eligible to win one of five mixed dozen cookies. The event is first come-first serve, and no preorders will be accepted. Going forward, the bakery will be open Tuesday-Saturday from 10:30 am-6:30 pm and Sunday from 10:30 am-5 pm.
Even though its been a long time coming, Teamer is excited to have reached this point.
“I’m happy with the way everything has turned out. I’m glad everyone likes the cookies,” she says.