July 12, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Less Is More for Weighless Cookies at Kosherfest

Every year, Kosherfest showcases a multitude of vendors in the health food sector. One which stood out this year was Weighless cookies. The company was established by Abie Maltz eight years ago. At the time, Abie owned a restaurant in Brooklyn called Nu Cafe 47. Due to the lifestyle of running a busy restaurant, access to unhealthy food, lack of exercise, and stress, he gained nearly 50 lbs. At his cardiologist’s urging, he decided to make a change. Abie joined a gym, and while losing weight solely through exercise, realized he needed a healthy snack to keep him satisfied between meals. He did some research on how to create an appetite-suppressing pastry to help him on his weight loss journey. Abie spent months creating the perfect one, playing around with ingredients and recipes. After much trial and error, he created his first cookie, the quinoa chocolate chip cookie. Abie started eating the cookies in place of other snacks, which usually weren’t of the healthiest variety. As a result of his new snack, along with improving his overall diet, and his exercise regimen, he dropped over 40 lbs of what he had gained. His customers commented on how great he looked, and upon learning about the cookies, prodded him to sell them, so others could achieve the same results. Weighless cookies was born.

In the early stages, Abie was selling his cookies at his restaurant, and locally through word of mouth. He was selling hundreds of cookies a month. The business was doing well until March 2020, when New York City restaurants were shut down due to COVID. As a result, he made the decision to leave Brooklyn for New Jersey. He closed his restaurant, sold his house and chose to settle in Elizabeth. Abie decided to invest the proceeds from the sale of his house into growing his business. Weighless cookies was moved to a new home in Roselle Park, NJ, where Abie focused on growing his brand. He trademarked Weighless cookies, and redesigned the packaging. Around this time, a NYC-based registered dietitian contacted Abie to create a high fiber, high protein and low carbohydrate cookie. He collaborated with her to develop a 30-calorie cookie called fiberry, with 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein per serving. He used monk fruit sweetener in place of sugar, green peas, garbanzo beans, coconut, hemp protein, maca root, avocado oil, chia seeds, flax seeds and egg whites as the ingredients in this tasty, wholesome cookie. The dietitian and her coworkers began recommending this cookie to their clients. Abie began eating the fiberry cookies himself, and as a result, lost several inches off his waist. Abie created a whole line of additional cookie varieties, which included quinoa, buckwheat and peanut butter. Prior to a recent Pesach, he decided to create a kosher for Passover alternative, the ZERO cookie. The ZERO cookie contains zero net carbohydrates. He combined psyllium husk, quinoa flour and xylitol to mimic the nutrition in his other cookies. That first Pesach, he made 250 cases, all of which sold out. This prompted his decision to sell these cookies year-round as well.

Two other cookie varieties came to be by accident. His lemon cookie was the result of trying to find a natural way to extend the shelf life of his cookies. He added fresh lemon to preserve the cookie. While it wasn’t his intention, the lemon flavor created by the added ingredient was a big hit. His peanut butter double chocolate chip cookie was formulated by combining garbanzo flour with quinoa flour. The addition of the chocolate chips was at the request of many customers, and these soon became a fan favorite.

Weighless cookies is under the hashgacha of Star-K and Rabbi Moshe Shmiel Rottenberg. There are several employees, who help hand-make and package thousands of cookies daily. Abie, along with his wife, Sara, deliver the cookies themselves to many of the tristate area stores which carry them. This could mean a 7:30 a.m. delivery to Bergen County stores.

However, the company experienced a major setback when Hurricane Ida ravaged the tristate. Their inventory, all stored in a basement warehouse, was completely destroyed when it flooded with several feet of water. They lost over $100,000 worth of merchandise, which devastated their small but growing company. Kindness showed its way though, through support on social media from their many fans, as well as through the Elizabeth community, many of whom showed up to help remove water by the bucketful from the warehouse. While they tried to salvage whatever they could, unfortunately, everything was destroyed. Their insurance did not cover for flood damage, and FEMA denied their request for support, so it was a total loss for the company. They are doing all they can to recoup their losses and continue growing their business, and hope everyone will continue to support their healthy and delicious products. They can be reached at (908)800-7440 or [email protected]. For more information on the company and their products, please visit them at www.weighlesscookies.com


Stephanie Greenspan, MS, RD is a registered dietitian practicing in Bergen County.

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