Among Friends, LLC, is the brainchild of two friends, Suzie Miller of Toledo and Lizann Anderson of Ann Arbor. The two friends met while pregnant with their first born children, after their fathers, lifelong friends, introduced the pair.
Miller an avid baker, would bring her creations over to Anderson’s home to enjoy with coffee and conversation. The next time the friends got together, Anderson brought the baked goods and proclaimed, “I made your cookies!”
“I looked at the cookies she made and told her they did not look like mine," Miller says. "She told me that she had made them ‘nutritionally nice’ by adding whole grains and flax seeds. I took her cookies and fine tuned them. We kept going back and forth until we had a mouthwatering cookie." They began selling the mix in unlabeled bags. Today the women not only have labels and a logo — they have a licensed workroom slightly bigger than a walk-in closet, which they lovingly refer to as “our world headquarters.”
“The perils of healthy cookies are that many taste like the cardboard they’re packaged in," Anderson explains. "I was blessed with three boys and the middle one is a bloodhound who sniffs everything before he eats it. I knew if I made a cookie that passed the tyranny of Shane’s taste buds, I would have accomplished something. However, we’re keeping the benefits of flax and whole grains a well guarded secret from our kids."
The bakers feel that it is important to give back to the community. The pair has worked with several non-profits, either through direct donation or by providing mixes at wholesale prices for fundraisers to benefit Angell School, the Lamaze Association, and Common Bond Basketball and Neutral Zone Teen Center.
Cookie mixes and crisps available are CJ’s Chocokrinkles, Evan’s Heavenly, Suzie Q’s Chocolate Chip and Trish the Dish. Among Friends cookie and crisps mixes are available in Ann Arbor at Whole Foods (www.wholefoodsmarket.com), Main Dish Kitchen (www.maindishkitchen.com) and Hillers (www.hillers.com) or at www.amongfriendsbakingmixes.com