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Jul 20, 2018







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Tender Love & Cookies

Find Tender Love & Cookies at the following markets, or visit tenderloveandcookies.com.
• Derry Farmers Market at 1 W. Broadway, on Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. See facebook.com/derryfarmersmarket.
• Bedford Farmers Market at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish Parking Lot (190 Meetinghouse Road), on Tuesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. See bedfordfarmersmarket.org.
• Angela’s Pasta & Cheese Shop 815 Chestnut St., Manchester, 625-9544, angelaspastaandcheese.com




Baking up some TLC
Tender Love & Cookies bakes good-for-you sweets

08/07/14



 From 12-year-old baker to 27-year-old owner of Tender Love & Cookies, Alexis “Alex” Diaz Morales chose his path early, back when he lived in Puerto Rico and became fascinated with watching his grandmother bake. 

Now, Diaz Morales bakes cookies like Cinnadoodles and chocolate chip, plus spiced granola and other sweet treats for Tender Love & Cookies — and it’s all all-natural, non-GMO (genetically modified organism), gluten-free and vegan.
All the baked goods and treats are baked, prepared and packaged at Creative Chef Kitchens in Derry, a commercial kitchen space many culinary entrepreneurs and small businesses are now utilizing.
“I love the space,” Diaz Morales said. “It’s a great idea because it helps someone like me because I can’t afford to have a full restaurant right now.”
Diaz Morales is also a baker for the Black Forest Cafe and Bakery in Amherst. Eventually, he envisions a bakery type restaurant of his own, with high-quality coffee and all-natural, organic baked goods. And he admits his own culinary dream is the American dream.
“The fact that I can sit here in 2014 and say I have a business at 27 years old, it proves that anyone can do it,” he said. “Baking is my life. It’s my passion. It’s what I love to do.”
Diaz Morales originally modified his baked good recipes for a friend with diabetes.
“Basically it was a challenge for me,” he said. “The customer base that I have now … they were surprised I had gluten-free and vegan on the same product.”
While gluten-free products have become more regularly available, they’re not all vegan. He’s currently working on a few sugar-free cookie recipes, too. By winter, he hopes to also be preparing gluten-free baking mixes, including a pie crust mix.
“It’s not just cookies,” Diaz Morales said. “A popular item I like too is the granola. … People love it with almond milk.”
The granola is made with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, and it’s sweetened with applesauce and agave.
“My favorite [cookie] I would say is the snickerdoodle — I call it the Cinnadoodle,” he said. “Cinnamon is my favorite spice. It’s cinnamon and organic sugar, and it’s just full of spices. It’s also my top seller. The kids love it and the parents do as well.”
At the moment, Tender Love & Cookies products are available at Angela’s Pasta & Cheese Shop in Manchester, at the Bedford and Derry farmers markets and online. Customers who place orders online can either have baked goods delivered to them or pick up their orders at the farmers market.
While he isn’t vegan or gluten-free himself, it’s the customers who get to enjoy a treat when they normally couldn’t or a kid who can have a cookie at the farmers market that inspires him to bake more.
“You don’t have to be gluten-free to eat gluten-free items,” Diaz Morales said. “I have customers who aren’t gluten-free. They eat my products because not only is it better for you, but your body reacts differently. You don’t feel bloated when you eat gluten-free items.” 
 
As seen in the August 7, 2014 issue of the Hippo.





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