'A dream come true': GG's Cookies opens up in downtown TR
THREE RIVERS — Regina Mains has always wanted to open a cookie business of her own.
The Three Rivers native called owning a cookie shop a dream of hers, with many people encouraging her throughout the last few decades to do so.
On Saturday morning at 18 N. Main St., her dream came true in the form of the new cookie shop GG’s Cookies, located inside Lowry’s Books and More in downtown Three Rivers.
The first day of operation was a hit among those who stopped by, selling out all of their baked goods in just a few hours.
“It's just amazing. It really is,” Mains said. “I’m overwhelmed by all the support.”
GG’s Cookies specializes in a variety of cookies, including oatmeal walnut raisin cookies, snickerdoodles, M&M cookies, and Mains’ specialty, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.
“One person who came in today told me the snickerdoodles were the best he’s ever had,” Mains said.
In addition, GG’s also offers brownies, Rice Krispies Treats, and various teas, coffee and other refreshments. Each of the items she and her employees, which include her daughter, Riley, and one of Mains’ sons, makes is made with one special ingredient: love.
“These cookies are made with love,” Mains said. “I always say a cookie a day keeps the blues away, so I just try to cheer people up.”
The inspiration behind opening the shop begins during her time baking cookies for the Three Rivers High School varsity football team back around 2005 and 2006, when one of her nephews was on the team and she was a parapro at the high school.
“The football team would come over every Wednesday and they would bake. I couldn't afford a KitchenAid, so they were my stirrers, and it was like extra exercise for football,” Mains said. “
Soon, more of the team would come over every week and help bake cookies, which proved to be quite popular with the team and the teachers at the high school, and those who had them raved about how good they were. She even baked cookies for the team during their playoff runs in those years.
“They thought of it as their good luck charm,” Mains said.
March of this year, however, was when the ball really got rolling on opening a shop. Her daughter Riley, a student representative for the TRHS Class of 2023, volunteered her mother to help bake cookies for a drive-thru bake sale the class did on St. Patrick’s Day to raise money for prom in 2022.
“I made 37 dozen cookies, and they sold out in two hours. I thought they were going to sell out before we even began, because all the teachers remembered me baking those cookies, and they all were lined up to get them,” Mains said, adding that the cookies helped the class raise $800 for prom. “All the teachers told my daughter, ‘Your mom needs to open a cookie shop.’ Then we got it all going.”
That’s right, the turnaround of GG’s Cookies from idea to reality took exactly one month. That quick turnaround, Mains said, is thanks in part to Lowry’s Books owner Tom Lowry.
“I called him, and was like, do you know anything available for rent downtown,” Mains said, adding that she was originally inquiring about renting the building at 2 N. Main St., which recently had the barbershop Jack of All Fadez re-open after a brief hiatus.
“After he said they were opening back up, I said, ‘If you hear of anyplace open that has an opening or rental, could you give me a call,’ and he said sure,” Mains said. “It wasn't even five minutes later he called me back and said, ‘Regina, the cafe, that's for rent.’”
After agreeing to a lease of the bookstore’s café space with Lowry and some touching up of the space – her husband did the painting while a local artist put up some artwork in the windows – the month-long turnaround was complete.
“We were going to open on the 15th, but I didn't know that was a Thursday, because that's when I signed my lease with Tom,” Mains said. “I love being here with Tom, and it's kind of like a safety net too. People come for the books, but they also like to come and have a cup of coffee and sit and read a book.”
Other than her dream of baking cookies for a living, Mains said she also opened the shop for another reason: her family.
“I brought Riley with me, because she was gung-ho about it, and my son has special needs and goes to the young adult program, and I decided to open up this place so they always had a place to work, and he would also have a place to work,” Mains said. “My son told me, ‘Mom, I can't wait to work here full time and get to bake cookies for a living.’ That was so nice.”
Mains said the feedback so far on her shop has been “wonderful”, and hopes to expand her operation in the future. For now, she said they’re “relaxing” in the space they’re in now.
“This is my dream come true to bake cookies every day as a job,” Mains said. “It's amazing, and I still can't believe it's true.”
GG’s Cookies is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Customers can either stop in or call ahead with an order at (269) 244-4643.
Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 23 or email@example.com.