By Great Performances
Is this a story about a drummer from the Bronx or cookies from that borough? It’s about both things really, and they tie in deliciously with Great Performances’ recent move to Mott Haven, a neighborhood in the South Bronx.
Great Performances Founder and Chair, Liz Neumark is committed to developing close relationships in her new neighborhood and supporting the different businesses and organizations that call the borough home.
One of the local vendors that GP works with in the Bronx is The Soul Snacks Cookie Company, which offers several varieties of soulful, doughy goodness, made fresh daily.
The company was started in 1996 by Ralph Rolle. From as far back as he can remember Ralph has always marched to the beat of a different drum, so it’s no surprise that with more than three and a half decades of professional experience in the music industry, he enjoys an illustrious career as a much sought after drummer.
He has made music with the likes of Nile Rodgers and Chic, Sting, Bono, Aretha Franklin, Biggie Smalls, Queen Latifah, Chris Botti, Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, India Arie and the resident band for N.B.C.’s ‘It’s Showtime at The Apollo’ for over 15 seasons. He has also served as musical director for both The Caroline Rhea Show and Japanese Super Star Toshi Kubota.
No stranger to dishing out a good groove, Ralph has also been able to successfully transfer his creativity behind drums and cymbals to the context of mixing bowls and baking pans, by establishing his Soul Snacks Cookie Company.
Although the company was founded almost twenty five years ago, the Soul Snacks concept dates back to the early 1900’s with southern traditions brought to life by Ralph’s maternal grandmother Leola; she was born in Ocilla, Georgia, moved to Miami, started a family and later migrated to Harlem in the Renaissance years. In those years, Leola baked fresh bread for family, friends and church during the time where the artistic and cultural energy in Harlem was high and the community spirit even higher.
The Soul Snacks Cookie Company deliberately harkens back to that time and employs a philosophy deeply committed to giving back to the community whose rhythms make up the essence of what has become a truly soulful concoction. “My plans for expansion are rooted in the promise and the potential of the community,” states Ralph emphatically. Dreams do come true. Ralph’s 1,250 square foot baking facility in the South Bronx is where he continues to grow and employ individuals from his old stomping ground, The Bronx River Projects.
The company offers a variety of delicious cookies such as Georgia Oatmeal Raisin, Peanut Peanut Butter, Down Home Double Chocolate Chip, Ebony and Ivory Almond Cookie, Grampy’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie, French Cocoa Chocolate Chip, Miami Raisin Walnut, Chunked Up Chocolate Walnut, Cranberry Oatmeal Raisin, Joyful Gingerbread and the recently added and now the number one seller, Sweet Potato Cookies.
Jon Roode, Director of Purchasing at Great Performances, has developed a productive relationship with Ralph, and regularly procures Soul Snacks cookies for a wide range of corporate and private events. He explains, “Working with local partners energizes the neighborhood. Not only is it socially responsible, it’s logistically helpful; they are our neighbors and are close by when we need a last minute delivery.” Speaking to mutual beneficial relationships in the Bronx, Jon adds, “We’re very proud to support Ralph’s business. Great Performances is a dynamic and growing business, and as we grow, we are always looking for new partnerships, for new ingredients, and strengthening existing relationships in our new home.”
Visit The Soul Snacks Cookie Company online at SoulSnacksNYC.com.