Cookie Lady Halted, But Mission Lives On

| by Allison Geller

Chanhassen, Minn.’s resident “cookie lady,” a mom who greeted students and the school bus driver with freshly baked cookies every Friday, has been shut down after an anonymous parent complained.

Suburban mom Anne Tabat started bringing her baked goods to the bus stop 15 years ago to thank the school bus driver. In the name of fairness and bringing people together, she also gave cookies to each of the students as a Friday treat.

But a neighborhood whistleblower just pulled the plug on Tabat’s cookie campaign.

“I think it’s somebody who just didn’t bother to get to know me and I think that’s what the sin is here,” Tabat told Minnesota Public Radio.

When Tabat came to the bus stop with her cookie basket before the holiday break, the driver told her that sadly, the kids could no longer take her sweet offerings. And since they couldn’t, it wouldn’t be fair for him to.

“Sorry kids. It’s been a fun run but have one last cookie. Bye, good luck, maybe you’ll all become cookie ladies one day,” the cookie lady told the disappointed passangers.

The complaint could, of course, stem from food allergy concerns and not necessarily a killjoy’s personal vendetta.

“I know all these well-meaning people who do kindly gestures but they backfire because they’re not thinking about things like that. That’s not what this is about,” she said.

“I never really got a straight answer. One parent complained and the school district has to be responsive to that.”

Tabat sees her cookies sharing as a way of uniting neighbors. She routinely gives them away, and baked 200 for the annual holiday party that she and her husband host. Guests include many neighbors who don’t know each other, all sharing the warm experience of a good cookie.

“I didn’t live in the suburbs until I turned 40,” Tabat explained.

“Look at the way these houses are designed here. They’re not designed with a friendly neighborliness community in mind. I haven’t been in most of the houses in my neighborhood. People live such busy lives; you don’t talk to your neighbors, you don’t know your neighbors.”

The MPR blog reported that a reality company listed proximity to the cookie lady among the usual features of a home that was up for sale.

Sources: KARE 11, MPR News