Christie’s Got a New Cookie
Christie Hauck—the man, the baker, the entrepreneur—has a new gig called Goozy.
I found Christie Hauck in the cramped, tight kitchen at Goozy in Green Hills, expertly spreading fresh made gelato in metal pans. Their gelato chef quit and Christie had to step in but honestly didn’t seem too unhappy about it. It’s one of his loves, making gelato, and something he’s been doing (under the name Bravo) for almost fifteen years. Get him started on how gelato is superior to ice cream and you’ll get an earful. Yes, this is the “Christie” of Christie Cookie.
THE STORY OF THE COOKIE
As a kid, Christie (a common surname in Canada, where Christie’s family is from) was obsessed by a neighbor’s (Mrs. Grimes) cookie. He couldn’t shake them. He fiddled around with a recipe, but never got it right. Life moved on; he went to college, got a job, moved back to Nashville. Years (and many cookies later) life took a decided turn on a trip to San Francisco, where he and his wife Melissa noticed there were cookie stores on every corner: Mrs. Fields, Blue Chip, Laura Todd Cookie Shop. We should do that, they thought. They returned home and—boom—they were in the cookie business. They opened a store on Church Street, where the library is today. They sold at Castner Knott department stores and Opryland USA Theme Park. Fast forward to Christie Cookie, a household name (in Nashville) and a confection now sold in retail stores, served at The DoubleTree Hotels, and to thousands of companies as corporate gifts.
OUT WITH COOKIES, IN WITH GELATO
Unfortunately most good things come to an end, and so did the age of the cookie shop. In 2000, Christie saw this coming and split the company, keeping the retail side of the business. However, with Nashville’s emerging growth, Christie saw an opportunity to morph his cookie concept into a new concept—one that included gelato. He and Melissa had become enamored with the dessert from frequent trips to Italy. There were thousands of gelato stands, each privately owned and ballyhooed for the best gelato. The Haucks liked the intimacy of gelato in Italy and the pride that was taken in every shop. Bam—they were in the gelato business. Christie learned from the best: the coach of the Italian Gelato team. They launched Bravo Gelato in 2000, which was served in Christie Cookie stores and many restaurants around town.
HELLO TO GOOZY
In 2014, the Haucks closed their Christie Cookie retail shops and opened their new concept, Goozy Dessert Bar & Café. With grilled cheese sandwiches, local beers, and cappuccinos, it’s a place where you can get both a cheese plate with a glass of wine and a scoop of gelato for the kids. Oh, the cookies? Hauck went back to the drawing board and re-invented the cookies that are now available at Goozy. They bake them in a cast-iron skillet, drizzle with Nutella sauce, and top with gelato. Bravo.