Trumbull man hopes Big G’s Cookies mean big business

TRUMBULL — George Manesiotis has a hard time picking his favorite cookie.

“Chocolate Crave, Dark Magic, Rainbow Madness, Triple Delight, Sugar Rush” said Manesiotis, 20, of Trumbull, listing cookie after cookie, reluctant to single one out as his top choice.

It’s no wonder he has a hard time deciding. After all, these cookies are his babies.

For the past two years, Manesiotis has been developing the cookie recipes, finding a way to take basic favorites and make them his own. The result is Big G’s Cookies, the baking business he started within the past few weeks with his mother, Corinna.

Manesiotis is on the autism spectrum, and will soon be selling his cookies at Next Chapter Books, a student-run used bookstore and coffee shop, which is slated to open soon at 2 Daniels Farm Road.

The book store is run through Trumbull’s ELITE program,which provides services, including job training and work opportunities, for students with special needs. Manesiotis has been part of the ELITE program for a while, and has worked in a number of jobs through the program, including landscaping at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, and stocking CDs and DVDs at the FYE in Westfield Trumbull mall.

But he says baking is his calling. He realized just how much he loved it through a class in his senior year at high school.

“He started coming home explaining how much he enjoyed baking,” Corinna said. “He’s very passionate about it.”

George echoed those thoughts. “It’s my favorite thing to do in my spare time,” he said.

He got so dedicated to baking that he and Corinna began researching recipes and finding ways to craft and shape them into something unique to George.

George said his cookies include a secret ingredient that makes them special.

“I can’t say what it is because it’s secret,” he said.

They eventually started the business, with Corinna promoting Big G’s online, largely through a Facebook page, Big G’s Cookies. Selling the cookies through the bookstore — at which George will also be an employee — is another step in the business.

George said he bakes roughly 200 cookies a week. On Friday morning, he had just popped some Dark Magic cookies into the oven. Those dark chocolate cookies are among the many varieties he offers.

Others include Sugar Rush (a sugar cookie), and Rainbow Delight (which contains M&Ms), to name a few. There’s also Chocolate Crave — a chocolate cookie that, after a bit of prodding from Corinna, George finally declared his favorite.

Ultimately, he said, his goal is to keep on making delicious treats for a living.

“I’m planning to work at (a) bakery shop,” George said.

“I know how much you’d love to work at a bakery,” his mother agreed.

That’s her dream for him too, thought she’d also love him to continue his new business.

“He can always have his Big G’s Cookies business on the side,” she said.