chat with a local :: Cookie Hebert

Eat well. Sleep hard. Be polite. This is the simple mantra behind Cook’s Organics, owned by Wellfleet resident Cookie Hebert. We’re thrilled to announce that Cookie – whose incredible magnesium cream helps us at LoveLiveLocal sleep hard – is also the second-ever recipient of one of LoveLiveLocal’s Project Cape Made award!

Are you a Cape native? Where is home now?
I am a washashore. I grew up on the central coast of Maine in a tiny little town called Wiscasset. It’s coined as the “prettiest village in Maine. I moved to the Cape in 1998 and it is where I call home. My family and I currently reside in Wellfleet, which not so strangely looks a lot like where I grew up.

We hear you were a professional chef! What’s the story behind that, and can people still work with you?  
I started cooking when I was 13 and only stopped recently. I love to cook, and I love to feed people, but have changed course and stepped away from the commercial kitchen to pursue my own business and start a family. The hours and physically demanding days took their toll. I loved the pace and adrenaline high especially in a tourist town like Provincetown where I had been cooking for the last 15 years, but I am certainly enjoying a quieter schedule and getting to spend more time outside. Cooking professionally again is not completely off the table, but it’s on the back burner for the moment. Off season around here is dinner party season, and until further notice, that’s where you’ll find me cooking.

You’re also the creator of the most magical magnesium cream that has literally changed our sleep routine. What’s the story behind it? 
Haha. Thank you! I’m pretty obsessed with it. Sweet Dreams Magnesium Cream came about by chance actually. I was having some health issues, really painful leg cramps, and terrible sleep, turned out to be a magnesium deficiency. I had been an insomniac off and on for all of my life. Magnesium promotes really good, deep sleep. It’s actually responsible for over 300 processes in our body. I started learning more about Magnesium and experimenting with supplementing it. The oral supplements were hard for me to remember every night and I didn’t digest very well. Oral Magnesium can have a laxative effect, especially if you are running low on it, so I wasn’t able to physically consume enough magnesium to remedy the symptoms before eliminating it. I did more research and found out about transdermal magnesium, the kind you use on your skin. Through lots of research and trial and error I found a recipe that worked for me and stayed emulsified. I found that liquid Magnesium can be very itchy and harsh on the skin, so adding the carrier oils and aloe allow the product to be more user friendly and gentle on the skin. I am able to use it every day. I also use it on my one-year-old. {editors’ note: We highly recommend SDMC and use it ourselves, but if you want to learn more about it, check out these FAQ or talk with your doctor}

On the surface, your businesses may seem unrelated. Is there a thread that connects them? 

Cooking and finding better sleep are two things I am passionate about. When I was cooking I was constantly lacking sleep and the physicality of the job was giving me the leg cramps, so in some ways my two career paths organically merged. I’ve been able to use my culinary knowledge to physically produce my product Sweet Dreams Magnesium Cream. It’s not unlike an emulsion that you would make in a kitchen, it is just a mix of oils and water.

What about the Cape and/or our community here influences your work, if anything?

My business growth over the last four years has been a grassroots effort. I spend a lot of time at farmers’ markets, the post office, and on the street talking to people about their health issues, sleep, and nutrition. I am incredibly grateful for the small businesses that carry my product and the Cape community that has shared Sweet Dreams Magnesium Cream with their loved ones.

It can be challenging to live on the lower Cape year-round. For many years I wanted a year-round job, and I finally realized that I needed to created one, as so many entrepreneurs before me have done. Creating my own business inspired me and gave me a better purpose. I am fortunate to have a product that is making people sleep and feel better, so it feels great to know they are spreading the word.

How will the Project Cape Made grant help you with your business? 
Thank you again for this grant. I am going to invest the money into legally protecting my business. I have put a lot of time and energy into creating Cook’s Organics and I want to make sure that all of my business entities and products are trademarked. This winter I will also be working on hiring a branding professional to help me create a visual brand that matches my personality and vision for my business. I am working hard to take Cook’s Organics to the next level, but I need to take care of these pieces before that can happen. {editors’ note: We were thrilled to choose Cook’s Organics for the PCM award – taking steps to protect your businesses is something we think is extremely important!}

Could you share one or two things you’ve learned about entrepreneurship with newer business owners or those who are looking to take their business to the next level?

I could very well ask that question myself! I have found that staying organized and not cutting corners is essential to running a small business. Unlike punching a time clock and collecting a paycheck, owning your own business doesn’t have an ‘end of the day.’ You’re always thinking about it, how to grow it, and how to improve it. My biggest challenge is leaving work at work. It is so important to take time to unplug, spend time at home with my family, and support myself by making time to work out and enjoy the beauty of where we live. As far as taking it to the next level? Let’s talk next year and I’ll tell you my findings…

What does your Cape Cod dream day look like?

Well, now that I work for myself I’m lucky to have my “dream day” be a typical day. I love any opportunity I can get to get out on my paddle board and luckily just about anywhere in Wellfleet is good for that. I really love being outside. We spend a lot time talking walks at the Audubon Society in Wellfleet and at Fort Hill in Eastham.

Congratulations on the Project Cape Made award, Cookie, and thanks for sharing with us! We can’t wait to see what’s next for Cook’s Organics and encourage our readers to follow along on Facebook and Instagram for Cookie’s latest updates and news on where to find Sweet Dreams Magnesium Cream

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