City Desk

D.C.’s Best Cookie Goes Up 50 Cents

Food riots raged in developing countries. Wheat prices—like prices for just about everything else—went through the barn roof. Carbo-loading around the country—via bagels, pastas, and so on—was becoming dearer and dearer by the week.

Yet through it all, the Marvelous Market's chocolate chip cookie (CCC) was holding steady at $1.49 per.

Chalk it up to good, aggressive management. Lisa Bourven, director of purchasing for the nine-store regional chain, says that last spring, she managed to negotiate some sweet deals with suppliers of ingredients for the CCC. "We were able to hold off on the chocolate chip cookie," says Bourven.

Until this fall, that is.

Those suppliers, says Bourven, recently had to pass along a bit of worldwide food inflation to Marvelous Market. And so this staple of chocojunkies around the region now runs $1.99.

Those two quarters hardly constitute your run-of-the-mill price hike. No, this is a cultural moment for Washington, D.C. Marvelous' CCC is the consensus pick of experts as the area's foremost, as reflected in best-of picks by both the Washington City Paper and the food-crazed Washingtonian. Nor is Marvelous Market shorting the consumer on mass–the cookie isn't going on a diet and getting a price boost at the same time. "It's a four-ounce cookie," says Bourven.

Truth is, the MM CCC remains one of the region's very best values, even at $1.99. The chain had been lowballing this badboy for quite some time, a lesson that it has learned through buying other people's cookies. Says Bourven: "We have started since last fall doing regular competitor shopping and found that we were underpriced on several products. We know that we have room in the market if we need to but we’re not taking advantage of it yet."

Which means that the MM CCC should remain a $1.99, four-ounce product for some time. "Provided that everything remains the same, it's going to be at this price level for the foreseeable future," says Bourven.

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