This is how it happened...
I was sitting here watching the Twitter feed on the ESPN Snowboarding home page, wondering if Louie Vito ever sends any actual text messages from his phone anymore, or if his entire life is communicated via back-and-forth Tweets, when a message rolled through from @jackmitrani about cookies. It went like this: "anyone ever had a peanut butter and jelly cookie before? Best cookie on earth. You can get them at mimiscookiebar.com Highly recommend it!"
Who knows why I clicked the link? Why does anyone click on anything online? But I did, and then -- as the kids would say -- I was like, "So what, this girl in California makes cookies... Cool, cool... I wonder what's up with that 'friends' link?" [click] And then I was all, "... WHAT?! She has team riders?" I've never heard of a snowboarder with a cookie sponsor before.
So, some of the other editors here in the office heard me talking about it, and demanded that I have her send some in for a "test test." And I did, and I'll tell you what: those cookies were bangin'. And that's why you're reading this little post here.
Mimi's Cookies doesn't just have a couple team riders, it has fourteen, all with a custom cookie. It turns out, the peanut butter and jelly cookie Jack Mitrani was all Twitterpated about is his signature-flavor. Brother Luke has a chocolate chunk, coconut and almond concoction with his name on it. Danny Davis has a bizarre peanut butter/raisin/chocolate mix, and the list goes on and on. We didn't get to sample all the tasty treats, but out of the ones we did try, we are evenly divided on which chocolate chip cookie is better: Evan Heckman's mint sugar, or Keegan Valaika's pumpkin spice. Really, when you think about it, who wouldn't want a cookie sponsor? What a great idea. We had to find out: Just who is this Mimi person?
ESPN: Mimi, who are you and where did you come from?
Mimi Kurz: Let's see... I started snowboarding when I was 10, got really into it, and competed and traveled all through high school. I ended up at Okemo Mountain School in Vermont junior year. That's where I met Shayne Pospisil -- I used to do his Spanish homework for him. That's also how I know Luke and Jack [Mitrani] -- they were at SMS [Stratton Mountain School]. I've been working at Quiksilver the past five years, but just put in my two weeks. I'm moving back to the mountains [Big Bear, Calif.] on November first.
How did the idea for a pro team come about?
I kept thinking I didn't want to leave the industry completely, but I want to bake. So I just thought, why not sponsor my friends? I just started thinking: "Who would be stoked to ride for a cookie company?" I thought of Jack first [laughs], and then Luke, of course. It just went from there. Really, the concept behind the team is to give people ideas to create their own cookie. It can be a little overwhelming to order with all of our options, so people can look on the friends page and get ideas to create their own cookie!
Do you pay your team in cookies? Who has the highest cookie-salary?
[Laughs] Yes, I pay them all in cookies right now. No one really has the highest cookie salary. They are all my friends and they all want to help me get this going. And of course they all love cookies. It's really a give and take relationship. If someone asks for cookies, they get them.
What's the criteria to get on the team?
There's no criteria, really. Well, you have to snowboard [laughs]. You've just gotta be a friend, think of a good cookie, and support what I'm doing.
Do you snowboard?
Of course I snowboard! I'm a total pipe rat.