Here's my article on One Smart Cookie Company that ran in the April 2011 edition of The West Bank Beacon:
Meiko and Jimmie Ditta are both lifelong Westbankers. Meiko graduated from Immaculata High School and UNO. Jimmie graduated from L.W. Higgins High School and obtained a Bachelor’s and Masters degree from Loyola University. Meiko worked for the Copeland’s organization for 8 years and Jimmie worked in law enforcement, most recently for the Department of Homeland Security.
One of Meiko’s lifelong hobbies was baking cookies and pastries for family and friends. Her sugar cookies were particular favorites. Eventually Meiko began selling her baked goods to supplement the family’s income.
In May 2009, one of Meiko’s lifelong dreams was fulfilled when she and Jimmie opened the first One Smart Cookie Company at 1331 Barataria Boulevard in Marrero. The goal was to provide the community with a neighborhood bakery reminiscent of bygone family bakeries like DeSalvo’s and McKenzie’s. The business thrived and in November 2009, a second bakery was opened at 110 Belle Meade Boulevard in Gretna.
All along, Meiko and Jimmie envisioned a bakery and full service restaurant. In March 2011, that concept materialized with the opening of The Bistro at One Smart Cookie Company in the Physicians Center at West Jefferson Medical Center.
The menu at all 3 bakeries is extensive. You can choose from sugar cookies, turtles with fudge and pecans, mega fours, chocolate chip cookies, lemon cookies, wedding cake balls, and red velvet cake balls, just to name a few. Then there are the specialty pastries including: Bavarian cream-filled eclairs, Bavarian cream-filled cream puffs and cream cheese brownies. One Smart Cookie also offers cookie bouquets, king cakes, and cakes for all occasions. Special requests for specialty cakes for birthdays and showers are welcome.
The newly-opened Bistro menu offers 6 and 12-inch po’boys ($3.99-$9.49), club
But it’s the chicken salad that the Dittas are most proud of. According to Jimmie, the 80-year-old family recipe originated with his grandmother and passed on to him by his mother, Jane Ditta. The family used to make 75 pounds of the chicken salad once a year at Christmas and give it out to family and friends. Now, that family recipe is available to the public as Granny’s Famous Chicken Salad on your choice of bread ($4.49-$9.99).
The Bistro at One Smart Cookie Company has a catering menu that includes finger sandwiches, mini-muffalettas, meat trays, bbq sausages and meatballs, artichoke balls, and vegetable trays.
One Smart Cookie Company’s hours are as follows: at 1331 Barataria Boulevard, Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., phone number is 301-9329; 110 Belle Meade Boulevard, Monday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., phone number is 304-6326. The Bistro hours are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., phone number is 309-9067.
Meiko and Jimmie are realizing a dream for themselves and their children Mia, age 8, and Colin, age 4. Accomplishing their goals would have been impossible without the help and support of family members including Jimmie’s mom Jane Ditta and brother Tony Ditta, along with Meiko’s sisters Kailey, Demi, and Lauren. And with the addition on the Bistro, they are thrilled to be part of the West Jefferson Medical Center family.
One Smart Cookie Company is a family-run bakery and restaurant. Meiko and Jimmie invite you to join them at any of their 3 locations for quality baked goods and food accompanied by personal service with a smile.
Reprinted with permission of The West Bank Beacon.