Have A Sweet From The Red Rooster Cookie Jar | Yvonne Conti-O’Brien, Red Rooster Cookie Ja...

In life, the little things that make us happy are the key. The warmth and feeling of joy we all get when biting into a homemade cookie made from scratch, with love, is a timeless comfort that has brought smiles to the world for centuries. Yvonne Conti-O’Brien brings that exact comfort to the nation everyday with her amazing and decadent creations at the Red Rooster Cookie Jar Bakery.

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Yvonne Conti O'Brien Red Rooster Cookie Jar

The sensation of biting into a cookie made from scratch and with love is a universal joy that we all likely know. While baking is a precise science, the reality of what something like a homemade chocolate chip cookie can do for someone’s day goes beyond just its recipe. 

Yvonne Conti-O’Brien is the owner of the Red Rooster Cookie Jar Bakery in Central Florida. For Yvonne, the journey into the world of cookies and opening her own bakery wasn’t exactly a plan. In fact, her story is one of fate, trusting in herself, creativity, and spreading joy through her delicious baked goods. 

Formally a Spanish language teacher for nearly three decades, Yvonne went into retirement with the knowledge that she would be embarking on another journey, it was just a matter of finding out what that journey was, and where she could place all of her creative energy and joy. 

“I actually never knew that I could bake. With the business today I constantly am being asked about how long I’ve been baking for and if I was taught from a family member, but I truly didn’t start until the story of Red Rooster Cookie Jar began for me. 

I retired from teaching, and I knew that I needed to do something else, I just wasn’t sure what. I was on this new journey where I was just searching to find what my next steps were going to be. 

Around 6 months after I retired I was reorganizing the kitchen and moving my husband’s old recipe books when a chocolate chip cookie recipe scribbled on a scrap piece of paper fell onto the counter in front of me. I don’t know why but I just decided to bake the cookies. When my husband got home, he was confused and asked me ‘why are you baking, you haven’t had cookies in years!’ and honestly, I had no idea why,” Yvonne laughed.

“I just had a very strong feeling within myself that I needed to bake, and to this day I still don’t know what it was. I like to think of it as some sort of sign from above, but truly I have no explanation for what pushed me to bake those chocolate chip cookies, thank God I did though.”

Yvonne’s first batch of cookies were amazing. Her husband loved them and asked what her process was, to which she replied “I have no idea and I don’t think I can do it again.” 

Despite that doubt, she did bake again, and again, and the batches were continuously successful. During the holiday season that year, Yvonne had another unexplainable urge to bake cookies for her neighborhood for their annual holiday lights festivities. Her cookies were a complete hit, and for the first time Yvonne got to witness the joy that baking can bring to people. It was such a successful endeavor, that she was unofficially dubbed “The Cookie Lady” in her neighborhood. 

Her unexplainable passion only grew from here. She was inspired to try new recipes, flavor combinations, and was motivated to explore this new side of herself. 

Yvonne was on the phone with her son’s girlfriend one day when she told Yvonne how she used to love when her mom would make her oatmeal raisin cookies with chocolate chips in them. “I thought to myself why do that when you could just use chocolate covered raisins? We both had never heard of something like that before, and I couldn’t find any sort of recipe online, so I decided to create it myself. That cookie went on to become our now signature Oatmeal Raisinette cookie.” A small story of comfort from one person became a huge source of joy for others. 

Her journey would only become further fueled by fate. She spoke with her son during a trip to the grocery store about wanting to develop another recipe and in that same breath looked on the shelf to see a recipe for a double cinnamon sugar cookie. 

“It was such a complete failure, the cookies were like puddles. It was awful.” At that moment, Yvonne felt like a failure, but she’s not the kind of person who gives up when mistakes are made. As an educator, she taught her students the importance of learning from their mistakes and using them as opportunities to grow and learn, so she would do the exact same thing. 

Based on how liquidy the cookies were she altered the recipe and worked with various combinations, including a top secret ingredient, until she came up with what is now known as her popular snickerdoodle cookies. 

“Now they’re thick and fluffy like pillows.” The natural progression of events that led Yvonne to create the Red Rooster Cookie Jar would only continue. It’s important to recognize that in these beginning stages of development, she had no real end goal, and instead was going through this new journey based on trusting herself, and the process. 

Yvonne Conti O'Brien Red Rooster Cookie Jar

In the beginning, the chocolate chip, oatmeal raisinette, and snickerdoodle were Yvonne’s big three. It was time for her to take the next step and begin selling. Working with her son, they came up with the name Red Rooster Cookie Jar, as she literally owned a cookie jar that looked like a red rooster. Again, a small source of comfort for Yvonne became a source of joy for others. 

Yvonne Conti O'Brien Red Rooster Cookie Jar

For Yvonne, it was always about fate and trusting in the process as they went along, and it hasn’t failed her since. She began selling her delicious cookies at a local farmers market, and from there, the business had some legs to grow, and that it did. 

Beyond just selling their amazing goods made from scratch at their bakery in Lady Lakes, Florida, The Red Rooster Cookie Jar Bakery also has products in multiple local vendors, and ships their amazing homemade baked goods nationwide for anyone in the US to enjoy. 

Yvonne went from her popular big three recipes to now selling more than 50 different kinds of cookies, as well as breads, and even cookies for dogs!

“Our bakery is acclaimed in the community for its delectable selection of cookies and loaves and other goodies. Notably, our team bakes all of our goods from scratch, bringing a familiar touch to the business.”

Over the years Yvonne has created and sold over 50 different kinds of cookies

“When I’m coming up with a new recipe, it’s actually kind of hard to believe, I don’t practice the cookie of the week. I bake it, it’s awesome, and we sell it. Since I had those initial 3 cookies that were so successful, I had a good foundation when it came to exploring new recipes. 

It’s such a fun process, when I see something that inspires me I just run with it. For example we were out to dinner one night and the restaurant had this new cocktail they called a strawberry shortcake martini. My first thought was to make a cookie out of that, and our strawberry shortcake cookie was born and featured as Cookie Of The Week.”

The Red Rooster Cookie Jar has about 11 standard cookie flavors that they sell year-round. For those wanting to try some of Yvonne’s newer creations, they should look to The Cookie Of The Week. 

The Cookie Of The Week was started when Yvonne was selling her cookies at the farmers market. She made a new cookie every week to sell with her standard three, so that if her customers wanted to try that newer recipe, they had to make sure to buy it that week before it was gone.

Yvonne Conti O'Brien Red Rooster Cookie Jar

By keeping that creative passion consistently going, Yvonne is able to maintain the joy of what she does for her community, and the nation, by sharing her delicious baked goods. 

That same passion was present when the idea for Benny Bites was first hatched. Benny is Yvonne’s loving french bulldog who, like for most of us with our dogs, is a big part of her family. 

Yvonne’s husband gifted her with a cookie cut out of Benny one year for Christmas, and like everything else with her bakery, Yvonne had a creative spark to make cookies that were safe for dogs to eat. Now, the Red Rooster Cookie Jar sells three options of cookies for your furry friends to enjoy! 

Yvonne is an inspiring entrepreneur, but more importantly she’s an inspiring human being. Her ability to take inspiration as it comes and trust in herself and the pride she knows she gets from baking has led her to great success. When starting anything new in life, having that trust in yourself can seem impossible. We all could learn from Yvonne’s tenacity and faith in her abilities. When we focus on our own joy, and believe in our skillset, we will find success. 

Yvonne spent nearly three decades as an educator, and when she closed that chapter of her life she knew she wanted to do something more, but she waited until she felt like the right door had opened. 

“With language you have to utilize a precise dialect, and with baking you need to utilize precise ingredients to make beautiful language and delicious cookies. I’ve told people before, my time in teaching was different than what I’m doing now, but at the same time, it’s really not. As an educator I had to be extremely organized and precise everyday, and as an entrepreneur I had to have that same level of discipline to get the Red Rooster Cookie Jar to where it is today.”

“I even realized that when it came to actually organizing our bakery and pantry areas, where we keep all of our various ingredients and flavors, I had to go about it the same way I would my classroom. Everything has its place, it’s alphabetized, and there’s a very clear system in place. 

To be a language teacher, you also have to be very precise in order to hear and understand this beautiful language. When we would do projects, however, I got to let my creative side out more and gave both myself and the students the freedom to learn differently. 

With baking, you also have to be extremely precise to get your desired result. When I’m creating new recipes I get to feel the joy of just creating something without any direction, just following my instinct, but when it comes to our standard recipes and goods, that diligence is an integral part of the process to make sure that our product is just as good as it was that first day where I decided to make the chocolate chip cookie recipe I found. 

So having both that creative freedom and organized precision is a necessary balance, which can be applied to most things in life.”

Yvonne Conti O'Brien Red Rooster Cookie Jar

“Trusting in myself, but also my family, my team, and my overall support system got me to where I am now. I spent four years looking for a place, but I never got upset when something fell through. I realized that everything truly happens for a reason, so I had to trust in that to keep going. Trusting that I would know when it was my time is what allowed me to be where I am today.” 

Yvonne Conti O'Brien Red Rooster Cookie Jar

The Red Rooster Cookie Jar has received numerous accolades and awards for their amazing work and the joy that they spread everyday with their homemade products. 

“Our commitment to using only the finest ingredients and crafting each cookie with care has been recognized by industry experts and food enthusiasts alike. We are proud to have been named among the best cookies in the world and strive to maintain our high standards of quality with every batch.”

In 2022 they received two “Best Of The 352,” the central Florida area code, awards for Best Bakery and Best Dessert, and won silver for Best Bakery in 2023. The bakery was also awarded the 2023 Honored Listee from Marquis Who’s Who and the 2023 Marquis Who’s Who award. 

Red Rooster Cookie Jar was awarded the 2023 Best Dessert from The Guide To Florida Red, and the award for recommendation on Restaurant Guru in 2021, 2022, and 2023. They were recently honored in their local paper again for being the Success Story of 2023 for the Small Business Development Center.

Yvonne herself was also honored in Marquis Who’s Who for her hard work, dedication, and passion in business. She was also awarded the award for Local Business Person Of The Year from Alignable in both 2022 and 2023.

It’s safe to say Yvonne is truly an inspiration to all when it comes to finding a passion that brings you joy and holding onto it. Utilizing your happiness and trusting in yourself will guide you down the right path, and sometimes that path will lead you right to the Red Rooster Cookie Jar. 

To learn more about the amazing recipes and story of the Red Rooster Cookie Jar Bakery, check out their website by clicking here!