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Maurice Lenell factory sold

Maurice Lenell factory sold
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  • Maurice Lenell factory sold

    Post #1 - March 11th, 2008, 5:05 pm
    Post #1 - March 11th, 2008, 5:05 pm Post #1 - March 11th, 2008, 5:05 pm
    Read the full story here:
    http://www.suntimes.com/business/836309 ... 08.article

    These cookies have been a favorite of mine since before I could spell my own name. They have a long tradition in this town (and in my family--my grandmother once worked at the factory for Mr. Lenell many decades ago) and I hope that the product survives even though the factory won't.

    As far as I'm concerned, losing Maurice Lenell cookies would be bigger than losing Frango Mints.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #2 - March 11th, 2008, 5:18 pm
    Post #2 - March 11th, 2008, 5:18 pm Post #2 - March 11th, 2008, 5:18 pm
    eatchicago wrote:As far as I'm concerned, losing Maurice Lenell cookies would be bigger than losing Frango Mints.l


    I could not agree more. I have received two boxes from my printer over the xmas holidays for the past 15 years. They do not even last 24 hours in my office. I hardly remember a xmas season for the past 30 where we havent rec'd a box of these goodies.

    Also, the trip to and from Westlawn Cemetary* will be much more sad without a stop at the factory store for a nosh.

    *edited due to embarrasment
    Last edited by iblock9 on March 11th, 2008, 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #3 - March 11th, 2008, 5:31 pm
    Post #3 - March 11th, 2008, 5:31 pm Post #3 - March 11th, 2008, 5:31 pm
    iblock9 wrote:Also, the trip to and from Woodlawn Cemetary will be much more sad without a stop at the factory store for a nosh.


    Westlawn.

    And, yes, I agree. A number of relatives in both mine and my wife's family are interred at Westlawn. The cookies are the silver lining on a trip to the cemetery.
  • Post #4 - March 11th, 2008, 5:36 pm
    Post #4 - March 11th, 2008, 5:36 pm Post #4 - March 11th, 2008, 5:36 pm
    Sad! One of our best memories is dropping the girl child off at daycare and the winter air filled with the scent of the cookies baking down the street....

    It will be sad to drive by the store & not get to have free cookies while watching the conveyer belt. :cry:
    I can't believe I ate the whole thing!
  • Post #5 - March 11th, 2008, 8:06 pm
    Post #5 - March 11th, 2008, 8:06 pm Post #5 - March 11th, 2008, 8:06 pm
    I grew up virtually around the corner from Maurice Lenell, going on 50 years ago.

    As a child, stopping in at the factory store with my mom and grandparents for a bag of broken cookies, while watching the conveyors full of fresh baked product march past the factory windows, was a treat that warms me to the bone, lo these many years later.

    A sad denouement, indeed...
  • Post #6 - March 11th, 2008, 9:11 pm
    Post #6 - March 11th, 2008, 9:11 pm Post #6 - March 11th, 2008, 9:11 pm
    eatchicago wrote:Westlawn.


    Yikes, I am editing out of embarrasment. :)
  • Post #7 - March 11th, 2008, 9:43 pm
    Post #7 - March 11th, 2008, 9:43 pm Post #7 - March 11th, 2008, 9:43 pm
    I grew up with Maurice Lenell cookies. I think my most consistent favorite over the years is the one with the jelly in the middle.

    I remember driving to the factory to buy the "broken cookie" buckets which weren't very broke at all. Sometimes, you'd see the conveyor belt ferrying hot cookies that you could eat right out! It was a Christmas tradition.

    I live blocks from there now, and while there are sometime-days when the air is redolent with the warm glow of cookie-goodness, most often, the usual stench of (in)humanity prevails.

    -ramon
  • Post #8 - March 11th, 2008, 10:33 pm
    Post #8 - March 11th, 2008, 10:33 pm Post #8 - March 11th, 2008, 10:33 pm
    When I was growing up, we always had a box of the Maurice Lenell butterscotch cookies in the freezer -- because cold, the butterscotch cookies were a particular delight. I'm sorry to see them leaving town.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #9 - March 11th, 2008, 11:29 pm
    Post #9 - March 11th, 2008, 11:29 pm Post #9 - March 11th, 2008, 11:29 pm
    Hi,

    Maurice Lenell were the cookies they always gave away on Bozo Circus. Television was about as close as I ever got to one. My maternal Grandparents were Salerno butter cookie fans. My maternal Grandmother made her cookies.

    I later heard Maurice Lenell, the man, was a bit of a crank. Not my personal experience, but I have heard it often enough from various sources that it has a ring of truth.

    I'm going to buy some Maurice Lenell tomorrow to see what I am missing. Given my respect of those who are saddened, I'm likely to be kicking myself for a very late introduction.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #10 - March 12th, 2008, 10:14 am
    Post #10 - March 12th, 2008, 10:14 am Post #10 - March 12th, 2008, 10:14 am
    Here's hoping the product stays the same. Almond cresents and pinwheels were our favorites and were the first to go out of the variety pack. My sister has been know to eat an entire box of the almond cresents in one sitting. She would ask my parents to bring a box to her when they visited (she's in TN too) and the box didn't last long. Now that I'm in TN, we don't have those in the stores so I can't get them.

    May have to ask relatives to buy some. As I've gotten older, I can only eat them sparingly but when I do, I'm immediately transported back in time.
  • Post #11 - March 12th, 2008, 11:30 am
    Post #11 - March 12th, 2008, 11:30 am Post #11 - March 12th, 2008, 11:30 am
    I remember being maybe 6 or 7 and getting hot peanut butter cookies there. Damn they were good right out of the oven.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #12 - March 12th, 2008, 11:23 pm
    Post #12 - March 12th, 2008, 11:23 pm Post #12 - March 12th, 2008, 11:23 pm
    A guy in my office years ago used to stop by a client right by the factory and always brought a bucket of brokens in to the communal kitchen. Those were good days.
  • Post #13 - March 13th, 2008, 8:30 am
    Post #13 - March 13th, 2008, 8:30 am Post #13 - March 13th, 2008, 8:30 am
    I consider one of my crowning achievements in my current job to be the designation of Maurice Lenell cookies as the signature snack at my department's events. We have them at all of our workshops, including our annual conference for Northwestern's 300+ new teaching assistants the week before school starts...all thanks to moi. Of course, I'm the only one in my office that cares at all about the cookies--everyone else just cares that they fit our budget--but it's always very touching when a co-worker returns from one of our events with a few pinwheels wrapped in a paper napkin, set aside for me. (Because there is nothing sadder than opening a big box of Maurice Lenell cookies to see that there are no pinwheels left.) :D
  • Post #14 - March 13th, 2008, 8:46 am
    Post #14 - March 13th, 2008, 8:46 am Post #14 - March 13th, 2008, 8:46 am
    Hopefully he stays in the area.

    Cohen said the plant and store will continue operating in their existing location until May 2009 so that the company can produce its Christmas orders and have time to dismantle the equipment. “I am seriously looking at reopening either in Chicago or in Mexico,”
    Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Spaghetti and Meatballs! (Beauregard Burnside III)
  • Post #15 - March 13th, 2008, 8:55 am
    Post #15 - March 13th, 2008, 8:55 am Post #15 - March 13th, 2008, 8:55 am
    Adios Lenell's!
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #16 - March 13th, 2008, 9:21 pm
    Post #16 - March 13th, 2008, 9:21 pm Post #16 - March 13th, 2008, 9:21 pm
    OK, I can see the nostalgia of watching the cookies come down the conveyor belt........but.......other than the ones with the jelly dot and the pinwheels...THEY ALL TASTE THE SAME!!!!!

    The rumor is that a Costco will be going there. The Norridge theatres have already been sold and will only remain open for another year. Wal-Mart wants in but the mayor feels that Coscto treats their employees better.

    Oh well
    The clown is down!
  • Post #17 - March 14th, 2008, 5:28 am
    Post #17 - March 14th, 2008, 5:28 am Post #17 - March 14th, 2008, 5:28 am
    JeanneBean wrote:OK, I can see the nostalgia of watching the cookies come down the conveyor belt........but.......other than the ones with the jelly dot and the pinwheels...THEY ALL TASTE THE SAME!!!!!


    Care to give me a blind taste test?

    The chocolate chip cookies are different than the sugar-butter cookies which are different than the almond flavored ones which are all vastly different than the double chocolate ones.

    They are all made in a similar style (and rather old-fashioned). The subtlety of the flavors is one of the things that I love most about them.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #18 - March 14th, 2008, 9:29 am
    Post #18 - March 14th, 2008, 9:29 am Post #18 - March 14th, 2008, 9:29 am
    Growing up in Norridge, I walked past the Lenell factory every day on my way to high school. That fresh-baked cookie aroma was amazing.

    A couple years ago, my husband suggested we pick up a couple pounds as a gag gift for his father's birthday. That's when we learned that, back in the 1970s, he would make pilgrimages from Milwaukee to pick up huge tins of cookies for his customers.

    Lenell's will certainly be missed.
  • Post #19 - March 14th, 2008, 9:52 am
    Post #19 - March 14th, 2008, 9:52 am Post #19 - March 14th, 2008, 9:52 am
    Back in 1986, the family I worked for was considering buying Maurice Lenell, but there was a lot of family fighting (on the Lenell side) about the terms of the sale, and whether there actually would BE a sale. After a lot of back and forth, the deal died. I was sorry that happened, because my boss kept coming in the office with tubs of cookies for us.

    I'm a big fan of the pinwheel and the almond cookies. I hope the owner is able to find another location in Chicago.

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #20 - May 26th, 2008, 3:25 pm
    Post #20 - May 26th, 2008, 3:25 pm Post #20 - May 26th, 2008, 3:25 pm
    I was in the neighborhood yesterday so I took a few pics:

    Image

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #21 - May 27th, 2008, 5:37 pm
    Post #21 - May 27th, 2008, 5:37 pm Post #21 - May 27th, 2008, 5:37 pm
    I probably have the worst palate (I also think I am a super-taster), but I SWEAR they all taste the same to me! :lol:
    The clown is down!
  • Post #22 - June 1st, 2008, 7:55 pm
    Post #22 - June 1st, 2008, 7:55 pm Post #22 - June 1st, 2008, 7:55 pm
    I was poking around Maurice Lenell yesterday. Though there were no cookies whizzing by on the conveyor I could still smell them.
    Image

    Who couldn't love this guy?
    Image

    -ramon
  • Post #23 - June 4th, 2008, 9:16 pm
    Post #23 - June 4th, 2008, 9:16 pm Post #23 - June 4th, 2008, 9:16 pm
    Ramon -

    Nice pictures. A scenic day for it. The cookie factory on a production day makes Harlem Ave. so very fragrant.

    I still bring bags of 'broken' cookies to work with me for a treat now and again. One of my favorite guilty pleasures as a teenager was to buy a bag of broken cookies [all of 35 cents, I think] and sneak them into the Norridge Theater to munch on during a movie.

    Norridge will be greatly diminished by the loss of this factory. Probably all it will have left going for it is being the site of the world's ugliest mall. OK, and the place I grew up and never moved quite far enough away from.

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #24 - December 29th, 2008, 7:29 pm
    Post #24 - December 29th, 2008, 7:29 pm Post #24 - December 29th, 2008, 7:29 pm
    Just a shout out, tomorrow will be the last day Maurice Lenell Cookie Factory outlet (4474 N Harlem, open 8 until 7) will be in business. They are hoping to open in another spot, but who knows when & where? It was the last Christmas (30+years) at my in-laws, who are well into their 70's and cannot navigate 3 floors anymore. My MIL thought the last year in the house would fit right along with the last year at Maurice Lenell's. An old time cookie assortmet but when I opened the tin very big smiles around, especially the adults (pinwheels gone first). Nice memories of my Grandma here.
  • Post #25 - December 29th, 2008, 7:58 pm
    Post #25 - December 29th, 2008, 7:58 pm Post #25 - December 29th, 2008, 7:58 pm
    teatpuller wrote:I remember being maybe 6 or 7 and getting hot peanut butter cookies there. Damn they were good right out of the oven.



    I was in there a couple of months ago searching out those cookies, as was another patron. DISCONTINUED!
  • Post #26 - December 31st, 2008, 3:24 am
    Post #26 - December 31st, 2008, 3:24 am Post #26 - December 31st, 2008, 3:24 am
    Sad. I grew up not too far from there and recall going to that store from time to time. My favorite was the butterscotch or the pinwheels. My late grandmother always kept some of the butterscotch on hand to have with her tea.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #27 - December 31st, 2008, 11:00 am
    Post #27 - December 31st, 2008, 11:00 am Post #27 - December 31st, 2008, 11:00 am
    Westlawn and Maurice Lenell. Yet another family memory gone :cry:

    Any word on whether the cookies will still be available, or where they will be made?

    I just went to their web site to sign up for their mailing list. Hopefully they will let us know when they reopen in the Chicago area.

    http://www.mauricelenell.com/aboutmauri ... glist.html
  • Post #28 - December 31st, 2008, 11:21 am
    Post #28 - December 31st, 2008, 11:21 am Post #28 - December 31st, 2008, 11:21 am
    j r wrote:Any word on whether the cookies will still be available, or where they will be made?


    According to the story in the news, the Consolidated Biscuit Company, an Ohio-based firm, purchased their trademarks and equipment and will be moving production to Michigan City, Indiana.
  • Post #29 - December 31st, 2008, 11:29 am
    Post #29 - December 31st, 2008, 11:29 am Post #29 - December 31st, 2008, 11:29 am
    The only consolation about this is that production is staying in the U.S. and not moving to Mexico or some other location. Depending on where the new facilities are located, a trip to Indiana for some Stop 50 pizza and Maurice Lenell factory cookies might be appealing...
    -Mary
  • Post #30 - December 31st, 2008, 12:54 pm
    Post #30 - December 31st, 2008, 12:54 pm Post #30 - December 31st, 2008, 12:54 pm
    The GP wrote:Depending on where the new facilities are located, a trip to Indiana for some Stop 50 pizza and Maurice Lenell factory cookies might be appealing...


    And depending on whether or not they have a factory store. They could very well be located in a large secure industrial lot for all we know.

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