From checkout lines at the supermarket to the best-seller list on Amazon, everywhere you look these days you see adult coloring books. In order to get attention in a crowded market, authors and illustrators are getting ever more creative. Now you can find coloring books featuring swear words, political coloring books, and even a coloring book dedicated exclusively to Bill Murray. Some coloring books have gone digital. But as fun and creative as these books are, they all have one thing in common: they are inedible. Until now.
Enter Eleni's New York and the totally delicious Color Me! Cookies for Adults. These sweet treats feature intricate coloring book patterns and come with edible markers to customize them before you serve them to others or eat them yourself. The line is an expansion of the company's Color Me! Cookies for Kids, created by inventor, baker and owner Eleni Gianopulos. Gianopulos came up with the concept six years ago when she came across the edible markers, and thought it would be fun to make a mess-free group activity for a weekly playgroup she was in with her then two-year-old daughter Sophia. Her designs were so captivating that "the two-year old boys and girls would sit and color and often forget to eat the cookies at the end," she recalls.
Her first commercially available Color Me! cookies were blank and came in "recognizable shapes for kids to color like animals, flowers, fashion and sports." She soon expanded the offerings to "include options for every occasion imaginable." When Gianopulos watched the adult coloring book craze unfold, she came up with the idea of making a more complex coloring book cookie line for adults. "The abstract drawings that are very similar to the graphics in adult coloring books have been particularly popular," she reports.
Her cookies are especially coveted as party favors or "just because" gifts and can be shipped nation-wide. "Our coloring book cookies offer an outlet to release stress and scribble away tension just like regular coloring book pages. We've just added a bit of fun (and sugar) to the mix," she jokes.
All joking aside, however, Gianopulos's is now running a multi-million-dollar cookie empire. Her most popular products are the intricately shaped sugar cookies called "Conversation Cookies", but she also makes crisp drop cookies in classic flavors like chocolate chip, butterscotch, oatmeal chocolate, ginger snap and pink sugar. In 2009, she decided to make the bakery nut free, and since that day has been "devoted to bringing sweet treats to everyone, since we believe that every single person should have access to the very best desserts without worrying about their allergies interfering with one of life's simple pleasures."
By being creative and rapidly responding to the trends around her, from dietary restrictions to relaxation techniques, Gianopulos' company has flourished. She plans to focus her next wave of innovation to the company's online presence, where after some overhauls, "customers can now check out smoothly and without hassles. They can even design their own unique cookies right from the comfort of their own couch." Gianopulos is currently looking into opening a retail store on the Upper East Side and/or in Brooklyn.
"We are proud of our coloring book cookies that help adults and children alike find their creativity, and satisfy their sweet tooth at the same time." Her motto: "Stay calm and color on!"