Craving something sweet? Cookie Dough Bliss coming to Third Street in Geneva

  • Zach Norbut and Kirstie Geyer are preparing to open Cookie Dough Bliss in Geneva as soon as circumstances allow.

      Zach Norbut and Kirstie Geyer are preparing to open Cookie Dough Bliss in Geneva as soon as circumstances allow. Rick West | Staff Photographer

Posted5/14/2020 6:00 AM

When Kirstie Geyer of St. Charles says she always enjoyed baking treats and dreamed of operating her own business when she was younger, it should be noted she's only 26 now -- and, indeed, running her own business.

Geyer and boyfriend Zach Norbut, also of St. Charles, are owners of the Cookie Dough Bliss shop at 227 S. Third St. in Geneva that they hope to open soon.


That site previously housed The Latest Crave cupcake shop, but owners of that business have moved over to a larger spot at 507 S. Third St., where Forever Yogurt operated the past few years. That new bakery will be called "Hey Sugar."

Geyer can thank her mom for steering her toward looking into becoming a franchisee for Cookie Dough Bliss.

"My mom went to Tennessee on vacation last year and went into a Cookie Dough Bliss, and she felt we maybe didn't have one in our area," Geyer said.

That was an accurate assessment. There's a similar operation called Cookie Dough Creations at 22 W. Chicago Ave., Naperville, but not much else related to cookie dough delights in the area.

"The franchise operates out of North Carolina," Geyer said. "But when I looked into it, the closest Cookie Dough Bliss to us was that one in Tennessee."

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Being an owner of a shop selling sweet treats is a fairly dramatic change for the 28-year-old Norbut, who also owns Marshall Motor Sports in Elburn.

"I come from a different world," Norbut said. "My business is in vintage VWs and Subaru specialist performance, so we do restoration on those cars from the late 1940s to the late '80s."

Though he has to shift gears into the world of desserts and treats, Norbut says he is on board with it because "Kirstie is passionate about it, and I wanted to be involved."

His knowledge of vintage cars will help in another way. "We're actually doing a 1967 VFW bus for Cookie Dough Bliss, to use like a marketing vehicle, or smaller food truck type of thing," he added.

Because the coronavirus pandemic hit just after the two started renovating the site, they don't feel any major rush to open. It should take another month or so anyway to complete interior design work.


"We don't really have a target date right now because of everything that is going on," Geyer said. "We were originally looking at spring, but things have changed. We're still moving along, but just can't put an exact date on an opening."

Once it is open, Cookie Dough Bliss will offer the look and feel of an ice cream parlor, except with various cookie dough flavors in the tubs to be placed in cones or bowls, or as "cookie dough sandwiches."

The shop joins the growing list of businesses that have made Geneva sit atop the sugar mountain.

In addition to Cookie Dough Bliss and Hey Sugar, also scheduled to open after the pandemic is resolved, Geneva now boasts of places like Hahn's Bakery, Cocoa Bean, Eye Candy, Graham's Fine Chocolates, Kilwin's, The Sugar Path, All Chocolate Kitchen, Moveable Feast, and the various goodies one can get at a Starbucks or the Café Barr coffee shops.

Plus, we can't forget Heidi's Cake & Pastry on the east side of town, or Nothing Bundt Cakes and the Sweet Stop, both in the Geneva Commons area on the west side.

"Geneva has everything already when it comes to desserts," Geyer said. "We saw that Cookie Dough Bliss would be different and decided it was something worth investing in."

A different Swedish Days?

Word is trickling out that the Geneva Chamber of Commerce is up to "something."

That something would be an event -- maybe part virtual, maybe part physical -- to be a replacement for Swedish Days.

Or, maybe a better way to put it would be creating a 2020 version of Swedish Days, given the pandemic shutdown has canceled the weeklong event in late June as we have known it for decades.

Keep your ear to the ground on this one.

Balmoral marches on:

With concern spreading through the area that the popular Balmoral Restaurant in Campton Hills might not survive the pandemic shutdown, restaurant patrons rallied in support.

Owner Colin Smith posted on Facebook that his restaurant would survive the next several weeks because of the influx of business, with hopes of reopening in late June. Basically, he noted, if each customer continued to order a carryout at least once a week, it would help tremendously.

This was great to hear because it was a classic case of a major positive resulting in a "what goes around, comes around" manner.

Smith, born and raised in Scotland, has done so much for area seniors and families in need with free meals over the past several years, it was natural for others to come forward in his hour of need.

He says he'll continue to help others, particularly six families he helps with free meals.

"We all have a responsibility to the community we live in, rich or poor. They are us, and we are them," he wrote.

A shade of white:

Now, this is a store of a different color.

Erday's men's clothing store along Third and State streets in Geneva was a fixture for 87 years before closing in 2013. During the 2008 recession, Geneva's oldest family-run clothing store set up shop in the back of the building along Third Street and rented out the State Street location, first to Kiss the Sky record store, then Perlman Fine Jewelry, and now Edie Boutique women's clothing store.

The space in the back of the building has housed an antique shop and will soon become the office for Retirement Network.

The whole time, the building, which was sold to new owners last summer, has been a dark brown, brick structure.

It is a somewhat stunning change to have seen it painted white in the past couple of weeks. It looks sharp, no doubt about that. It doesn't appear to be simply a primer coat, so it does represent a significant change along the downtown streetscape.

No birthday visit:

For the past several years, Albuquerque, New Mexico, would be my destination at this time to visit my mom for a combination of Mother's Day and her birthday, which are about a week apart.

Coronavirus made that impossible this year, so I have to wish Mom all the best on her 95th birthday from afar.

To make matters more complicated, she fell and broke her wrist and has been in a care center for the past few weeks. Based on what has been going on with the virus at senior care centers, it's not a place she wanted to be. So far, she is safe and getting good care.

She's been living in her own home all these years, the last few under the care of my brother and his family. She has never needed to go to a traditional nursing home.

It's not likely I'll get out to see her at any time this year. There's no guarantee, especially at her age, of how many birthdays she has left. At least there's no second-guessing on my part or thoughts of "I should have gone to see her a few times before this virus happened."

We made it a tradition to get together for her birthday many years ago, and have stuck to it.

If you have elderly parents living far away, here's to hoping you've kept a similar tradition alive and can get it back on track soon.

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