Rockford business gives back to orphans with special needs


ROCKFORD, Mich. (WOOD) — A Rockford woman is selling protein cookies as way to raise money for orphans with special needs.

The owner of Clara Cookies, Rebecca Cruttenden, started making the cookies to help with ironman competitions. The cookies were used as a source of protein when training for the triathlons. Cruttenden’s husband later encouraged her to start the business.

“He said you should come up with a protein cookie,” said Cruttenden. “So we did. My sister went to culinary school and she helped me with the recipe.”

Cruttenden started up Clara Cookies as a way to raise money for adoption grants through Bethany Christian Services. The adoption grants are for international children with special needs. So far, Cruttenden has raised about $200,000 of her $1 million goal

The cookie business is named after a child who was adopted thanks to the money Cruttenden raised. Clara was once an orphan from Bulgaria. She was missing a leg, and has since had several surgeries and now has a prosthetic. Her story is featured on the back of ever Clara Cookie wrapper.

“It’s so meaningful, it’s purposeful. It’s not just a cookie company, and that’s what we want people to know,” said Cruttenden.

Clara Cookies is run with the help of volunteers. Cookies are made from scratch, baked, and packaged weekly.

“My volunteers — I love them,” said Cruttenden. “A lot of them are retired ladies. We also have students that come and help us.”

About 900 cookies are made during each baking session. The cookies are baked in the Camp Roger kitchen, located in Rockford.

The business sells four flavors of cookies: peanut butter chocolate chip, coconut dark chocolate chip, dark chocolate with roasted almond and poppy seed. Vegan flavors are also available for certain flavors.

Clara Cookies are sold in about 30 locations throughout West Michigan. Locations include: Village Bike and Fitness in Cascade, Grand Rapids and Jenison; Ace Hardware in Caledonia; Main Street Bike in Zeeland; Gemmen’s Home and Hardware in Hudsonville; Bouncing Fitness, Momma’s Boy Sandwich Shop, She Active Boutique and Rockford Reformed Church in Rockford.

Cookies can also be ordered online.