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Mary Ann McCormick Co-Owner of Lark Fine Foods in Essex, maker of “cookies for grown-ups.” By Dana Rousmaniere

Where she works: A small space rented from Timothy S. Hopkins Catering in Essex. Why cookies:  “It was really a fluke. I was more or less retired from my career in corporate marketing and wasn’t looking for anything else to do when [my daughter] Nicole started making these rich, spicy chocolate cookies. I brought them to a little gourmet shop one day and asked if they would consider selling them. Those cookies later became our award-winning Cha-Chas, though we went through four different names first.”

Her award-winning “cookies for grown-ups:” Our cookies have a sophisticated flavor-they work well with wine or cheese. My favorite is the Salted Rosemary Shortbread. Our Mighty Gingers sell well during the holiday season. Our chocolate Cha-Chas recently won a Silver Finalist sofiTM award-the Oscar of the Specialty Food Industry-in the Outstanding Cookie category. Going global? “We’re growing every day, adding stores every week, and expanding outside of the New England area. We want to get bigger and we want to continue to work on [efficiency], but we also bake fresh to order without putting preservatives in our cookies. The fun part for me is creating new cookies. I have so many ideas for new cookies!”