Decades have passed since Tulsa’s own Aunt Chick began selling her world-famous cookie cutters.
Yet, like the inventor herself, the celebrated cookie cutters made an indelible mark in the lives of many.
The molded cookie cutters, one of many kitchen creations dreamed up by former Tulsa World food writer Nettie McBirney, will be celebrating their 75th anniversary next year.
That’s three-quarters of a century of cookie-making memories for families who cherish the unique molds.
Just ask Carrie Greno Falzone, owner of Gramma’s Cutters, the company that now makes and distributes the molds.
By the time McBirney died in 1982, her cutters had not been produced in decades, causing families to stockpile the cutters. But Falzone, on a search for replacement cutters for the set her grandmother left her, discovered in 2001 that there were 18,000 of the cutters in a warehouse in Tulsa — and the idea for reviving Aunt Chick’s cookie cutter legacy was born.
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She bought the cutters as well as the rights to make them. Now those who discover that the cutters are available for sale call Falzone, overwhelmed with gratitude.
“I just so enjoy the feedback from the people who have been looking for them for years and years and all of their heartfelt stories,” Falzone said.
Falzone told the story of one woman who became overwhelmed with emotion after seeing a picture of the Santa cookie cutter in an ad.
“When I picked up the phone, I just heard screaming. She was so excited. She was on a cellphone on the Chicago L train, and it took like a minute before I was able to understand her,” Falzone said. “Her grandmother had been making these for years, and she passed them on to her mother and then to her, and she could not believe it because their cutters were lost in a move and these were available now. The picture of the Santa she saw in the ad just brought tears to her eyes because it brought back so many memories.”
Falzone also recounted another time when a man, whose family lost the cookie cutters in a fire, found the Gramma’s Cutters website about midnight one night. He was so excited that he stayed up the entire night until he could reach Falzone by phone the next morning.
“He probably kept me on the phone for an hour telling me his stories,” she said.
Find more of this story and two recipes in Sunday's Tulsa World or online at tulsaworld.com/scene.