Teenage Entrepreneur Cookie Chris

Williamsburg high school student Chris Knight Jr. balances school and sports with a burgeoning cookie biz

by | Jan 1, 2023

cookie chris

On a Saturday morning, while most teenagers are unwinding from the school week, Chris Knight Jr. is preheating the ovens at his bakery. Against the bakery’s vibrantly painted blue walls, Knight prepares a fresh batch of cookies—chocolate chip for the traditionalist and Cinnabon cookies for those who want to indulge their sweet tooth in something new. It doesn’t take long for the warm, comforting smell of cookies to fill the bakery, greeting customers as they walk through the door.

A senior at Warhill High School, Knight opened his bakery, Cookie Chris, in August 2022. Knight first discovered his love for baking with his grandmother when he was younger. The two made everything from cookies and cakes to muffins and bread. His passion grew stronger when he started baking more during the onset of the pandemic. From there, he decided to focus on his favorite dessert, cookies. Knight sold his confections online, building a local following in the Williamsburg community early on.

Today, locals, visitors and William & Mary students all flock to Cookie Chris, conveniently located on Williamsburg’s Richmond Road. Between school and basketball practice, the 17 year old has a full plate. With the help of his parents and staff, Knight has been able to balance his schoolwork and responsibilities as a business owner to create delectable cookies that are the talk of the town.

While there are national cookie chains located nearby, the made-from-scratch offerings at Cookie Chris make this local bakery a standout. With a cup of creativity, a tablespoon of talent and a pinch of passion, Cookie Chris has the recipe for success.

cookie chrisKnight describes his cookies as “crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside,” achieving the perfect combination of crisp edges and tender centers that many strive for. The flavors at Cookie Chris rotate weekly and range from the classics to Knight’s more inventive creations.

“Our top seller is the chocolate chip,” Knight explains. “It’s the old-fashioned cookie that everyone loves.” He adds that his personal favorite is the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. The oatmeal chocolate chip offers a chewier bite than the staple chocolate chip cookie, but both flavors are packed with melted chocolate chips.

Outside of the time-honored cookie flavors, including sugar and snickerdoodle, Knight whips up some imaginative flavors, such as Birthday Cake, Donut Cookie and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Customers can also discover seasonal options proudly displayed on the bakery’s front counter. Pumpkin Spice and Sweet Potato Strudel were among the limited-edition cookie flavors for fall.

Where do these playful flavor combinations come from? Knight says it’s his creativity, blending foods he already enjoys with his own imagination.

“I want people to expand their tastes,” Knight says. “That’s why I come up with flavors like the Oreo and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.”
The Oreo and Fruity Pebbles flavors are two of the most popular, according to Knight. These take the standard cookie to a different level, covering them in Oreo cookie and Fruity Pebbles cereal crumbles, respectively, for an added crunch before reaching the soft center.

Knight wants people to know that his cookies aren’t just a gimmick or a viral trend that will fizzle out. He takes pride in each cookie in every batch, which could be as many as 1,000 on a busy weekend. While cookies are his passion, Knight wants Cookie Chris to be not just a bakery, but an experience as well.

“When we moved down here to Williamsburg, I realized they didn’t really have a spot where people could go inside, sit down for a minute and get a good dessert.”

The bakeshop has plenty of seating for families, groups of college students and tourists alike looking for a place to unwind. Cookie Chris could also be described as an “Instagram-worthy” eatery, as it’s not uncommon to see customers snapping photos underneath the glowing neon signs.

A visit to the bakery’s official Instagram account his filled with photos of the latest cookie flavors and smiling customers—many posing with Knight himself. Seeing the joy on his guests’ faces is just one of the reasons why Knight loves owning his own bakery.
“I really love the cookie business. I like making people smile.”

Learn more at CookieChris.com.

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