I have an insatiable sweet tooth so I’ve known for some time that Debbi Fields, aka Mrs. Fields, could bake one heck of a cookie, but I had no idea she can also serve up a heaping side of inspiration as well. The cookie mogul serves as a mentor on Lifetime’s reality competition Supermarket Superstar, premiering July 22, helping aspiring entrepreneurs fine tune their foodie products in hopes of winning a spot on coveted supermarket shelves. Debbi is so positive and motivating I found myself trying to come up with my own business idea by the end of our 20 minute phone call (which was at 7:30 am and I am not a morning person so this woman is seriously encouraging).
Currently prepping a new cookie book she hopes to have out next year (which will even include a gluten-free variety!), Debbi explains why America will be sucked into Supermarket Superstar, and shares her thoughts on the perfect chocolate chip cookie.
OK!: What made you want to do this show?
Debbi Fields: I was hoping desperately they would pick me and make me part of it because it’s so easy to love. It’s watching people bring their recipe, dreams, vulnerability and hope and see that transform into the potential of having their product presented. Everybody. in essence, walks away as a winner because their product gets ready for the supermarket. It gets portioned, it gets priced, it gets marketed—every contestant goes through the different levels walks away as a winner. So that’s a big plus, knowing you’re having a big impact on changing the direction of one’s life.
OK!: Did one contestant’s story touch you personally?
DF: I would have to tell you, nearly all of them. Sometimes it’s hard to resonate with them but I could feel their story. I could feel the challenge. I could feel the hope. There were folks who would say, “You’re the reason I’m here. Fifteen years ago I heard you or read something and I said, ‘I could do this, too.” That would just so touch my heart. It was my intention to actually understand and feel what they were going through, and not just their product. When you’re trying to make a presentation to a supermarket buyer, it’s not the product that’s going to get you in there, it’s the presentation. So I was looking at the whole thing and trying to make sure…in the end there was only one goal, I wanted to see, and I know this is unreasonable, I wanted to see everyone win. That’s what I felt I was there to do.
OK!: I have to ask, what’s the secret to the perfect chocolate chip cookie?
DF: Use the best ingredients. Why? Why not? We’re worth it. I’m a big advocate, if I’m going to sit down and eat anything it’s got to be great. It’s got to be worth the calories. Number two, my mom was always asking me, “Deb, how many cookies are you eating?” It was so hard to tell her I was eating 12 cookies a day. That just sounds like an enormous amount of cookies. I started making cookies into these jumbo pizzas which translated into a soft, chew cookie. Then I could say, “Mom, I only had one.” So it has to be soft and chewy. Third, at Mrs. Fields to make a memorable difference I have to sell a cookie fresh, warm and hot. Any time we could do that we could cultivate their taste buds in such a way that customers would be in the happiest possible state. When I started my business I instituted all of these silly rules. One was, anything not sold within two hours of being baked has to become a cookie orphan. If I could be baking all day long fresh, warm and hot then that will be the ultimate experience. So those would be the elements in my mind for a perfect cookie.
Catch Debbi Fields on Supermarket Superstar on Lifetime premiering July 22 at 10 pm.
What’s your idea of the perfect cookie? Tell us in the comments below or tweet @OKMagazine.