Owner Has Big Plans For Thin Cookies Shop That Just Opened in Hicksville

After a lifelong love of baking, Zohal Azimi  opened up Thin Cookies shop in November at 425 Jerusalem Avenue in Hicksville.

Zohal Azimi always loved to bake. So after being locked down during Covid, she pivoted from graphic designer to cookie maker.

Azimi quit her nine-to-five job as a designer at a pharmaceutical skin care company and started making her uniquely thin cookies full time, pounding the pavement to get wholesale customers. This November she opened her first shop in her hometown of Hicksville called, what else, Thin Cookies.

It was a journey that took her from Hicksville to Queens and then back again all to pursue a dream. Or was it to rise to a challenge? The way Azimi tells her story, it was a little bit of both.

“I’m a baker,” said the Hicksville High School graduate to LongIslandRestaurants.com recently during a phone interview. “I love cookies.”

Thin Cookies come in three flavors: chocolate chip, double chocolate chip and snickerdoodle.

Azimi and her husband Yoseph loved Tate’s brand of cookies but there was something about them that wasn’t quite right. Yoseph asked if she could bake them soft.

“Challenge accepted,” Azimi said. “Then he became obsessed with them and said, ‘Let’s start selling this!’”

So the pair set out to start up a cookie baking business, which brought with it a whole other set of challenges.

Azimi says that she spent time using her design skills to get the logo, packaging, and website in order and then launched, initially selling to friends and family. A friend in the restaurant business gave Azimi her first wholesale account and from there she basically went door-to-door picking up more accounts.

“Being a woman it was tough,” she said. “A lot of people would not take me seriously.”

Thin Cookies added accounts but Azimi quickly outgrew her own space. She rented a small incubator kitchen in Long Island City, spending an hour commuting three days a week from Hicksville to fulfill orders for the next year and a half.

Azimi wanted to increase her wholesale business even more but was already outgrowing her existing kitchen capacity so she searched for a local spot with a big enough space to accommodate her baking operation and had a retail store. While not as close as her own kitchen where Thin Cookies all started, the location she found on Jerusalem Avenue couldn’t be more convenient. 

“It’s super close to our home,” she said.

Her cookies are very thin, soft, and chewy, which is how they got the very simple brand name when she started baking them at home: Thin Cookies

“That’s just what we called it and the name caught on,” she said. “It’s straightforward, nothing crazy and it stuck.”

Right now her cookies come in three flavors: chocolate chip, double chocolate chip, and snickerdoodle.

While it might seem a leap to go from graphic designer to cookie maker, baking is actually baked into her family history.

“I’ve liked to bake ever since I was a little girl,” she said. “My dad was an entrepreneurial baker and he opened up a supermarket called Kouchi Supermarket in Queens.”

Thin Cookies Owner Zohal Azimi

Thin Cookies Owner Zohal Azimi.

It took Azimi and her husband a year to do the work on the building to prepare Thin Cookies but she said people were watching and waiting for them to open their doors. The store has an open floorplan with a warehouse-like feel so you can come in and see the cookies being made.

While there were challenges to get where she is now with Thin Cookies, Azimi said she just pushed through to make it work for her. She said when she was trying to pick up wholesale accounts she felt she wasn’t being taken seriously.

“People wouldn’t want to have a conversation with me or they would want to speak to my husband,” she said. “They would ask, ‘who is the owner?’ I pushed myself to not really care what people think.”

Her advice for other women experiencing the same sort of challenges when starting a business is to keep pushing forward no matter what people say or how they see you.

“I just hope that the entrepreneurial world makes room for more people like myself,” she said. “And the future has more faces like mine.”

Azimi isn’t taking a rest just yet. She has big aspirations for Thin Cookies. For now the store only has two tables and a few chairs so seating is limited but she says she wants to expand that. She is planning to add coffee soon as well. Azimi eventually wants to have wholesale accounts all over New York State.

“We want to start shipping,” she said. “We now have a facility and means to do so.”

Her store is currently 5,000 square feet and the idea is to create a warehouse and manufacturing facility there so she can open up smaller 300 to 400-square foot stores with the main hub in Hicksville.

“We want to be a household name and have smaller stores around New York where everything is baked fresh,” she said.

Thin Cookies is located at 425 Jerusalem Avenue in Hicksville. You can find them online at www.thincookiesny.com.

📷 Thin Cookies.

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