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Cookies for a cause

Oshawa café Isabella’s is selling cookies in support of The Back Door Mission. Owner Rosanna Bruno hopes to sell 1,000 cookies by the end of the year. (Photo supplied)

By Courtney Bachar/The Oshawa Express/LJI Reporter

A local café is selling cookies to help support The Back Door Mission.

Rosanna Bruno, owner of Isabella’s in downtown Oshawa, has created a special cookie with all proceeds going towards the local organization, which works to relieve the burdens of poverty within the Oshawa community.

“At the beginning of COVID-19, I noticed a lot more people who were displaced in downtown,” says Bruno. “The Back Door Mission has a huge voice in providing services for the economically deprived and the people on the streets in downtown.”

Bruno has a goal of selling 1,000 cookies, which she hopes to make happen by the end of the year.

“Right off the bat I had a ton of interest with some people buying 10 or 20 cookies. It was great,” says Bruno, adding so far she’s made about

The cookie is designed in the shape of a T-shirt painted white with the words “I Love Oshawa” written in red, with a heart in place of the word “love.”

Bruno says a batch of cookies can take two to three days from baking to cooling to decorating the cookie, noting the decorating can be the most time consuming part, depending on how many colours and layers you use.

“It felt like a fun cookie to do. I wanted something with an optimistic feel,” she says. “The actual cookie, when you see it, in a way it sort of looks and feels like a souvenir.”

Isabella’s has been in business for 14 years.

“It’ll be 14 years this summer,” she says. “We opened in August 2006,” adding they’ve always been in downtown Oshawa, located on the corner of King Street East. and Simcoe Street North.

“We’re a pretty traditional café,” she says. “We have cappuccinos, lattes, and we do all in-house baking. We also have a light lunch menu and a small retail shop inside,” she says.

Having been in the downtown core for more than a decade, Bruno says the area has definitely changed over the years.

“[The downtown] has changed quite a bit, especially with the presence of [Ontario Tech University]. There’s definitely been a shift in the vibe and the general energy of downtown,” she says. “People have their opinions of any downtown and it’s easy to have when you’re not in it every day. But there’s students, there’s professors, offices, and people that live and work in the area,” she says, adding there have also been a lot of businesses that have opened that are attracting new customers and traffic to the area.

While Isabella’s remains closed to walk-in customers, orders can still be placed online with free delivery.

For more information or to place an order, visit