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New West’s newest spot for cookies is a ‘ghost kitchen’

Contemporary Mexican eatery El Santo is now baking deep dish cookies on the side
You can order a cookie with a side of milk or vanilla ice cream at Deep Dish Cookie

If you didn't already know, there is a new cookie business is town.

For those who had a hankering for a bite of the buttery goodness this past week, it would have been a sweet surprise to find a new local business pop up on their delivery app — one named Deep Dish Cookie.

But if the deep dish cookie fans had set out to find a physical store by that particular name, they’d have ended up at the doors of El Santo Mexican restaurant on Columbia Street.  

The two businesses share the same address — an observation that had some members of the Facebook community Eat New West wonder: Is it El Santo's side business? 

A ghost kitchen for cookies

To clear the cookie conundrum, the Record reached out to El Santo's owner, Alejandro Diaz, who confirmed the same staff who whip up chille rillenos at the upscale restaurant also bake the treats (like s'mores, death by chocolate and salted caramel cookies) at Deep Dish Cookie. 

Just a week ago, El Santo teamed up with Meal Ticket Brands, a division of the Joseph Richard Group — a B.C.-based hospitality company — to start the venture. 

“Since the pandemic, people think that things are over; but things are not over here. We used to be open for lunch and dinner. But with people working from home now, the lunch traffic in downtown New West has decreased significantly. So, people are not going out that much anymore. Although, our rent and expenses are still the same,” said Diaz.  

To manage the expenses, Diaz decided to bring in a “different” concept — a new brand that will integrate into their current operation. 

“So, we created a 'ghost' kitchen (a virtual kitchen that's listed as a business on the third-party app like DoorDash, UberEats, etc., but doesn't have a physical location) — we wanted to use the capacity outside and during our regular operating hours to create the product.” 

“And I think people are enjoying them (the cookies),” said Diaz. 

Though the two businesses — El Santo and Deep Dish Cookie — share the same kitchen, they are two separate brands. Which means, you can't order deep dish cookies after a meal of their popular risotto de vieras or chilaquiles con pollo at the restaurant.

The cookies can only be ordered via a third-party app.

While the team at El Santo runs both the businesses, “our guests are the most important for us,” said Diaz. 

Which means, the cookie stock at Deep Dish Cookies depends on how busy it gets at El Santo.

So, if you find your cookie orders are not going through, it's because the staff is busy cooking a Mexican spread. But in the meanwhile, you can take the time to brainstorm your own ideal cookie — an option that the menu includes.

Yep, you can select the base, toppings and the sauce. Plus, you can order a glass of milk to go with it too.

Deep Dish Cookie is El Santo's ghost kitchen located at 680 Columbia St. Orders can only be placed through a third-party app.

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