New Haven Register: New cookie shop on Broadway has deep ties to New Haven — and Yale football coach Carm Cozza

New Haven Register: New cookie shop on Broadway has deep ties to New Haven — and Yale football coach Carm Cozza

New cookie shop on Broadway has deep ties to New Haven — and Yale football coach Carm Cozza


NEW HAVEN — It’s not every new business opening in New Haven that gets a visit from Yale University bulldog mascot Handsome Dan at its grand opening celebration.


Then again, few upstart businesses are started by families with as deep, iconic roots in the New Haven and Yale communities as Cookie39.


The new independently owned, from-scratch cookie bakery at 39 Broadway, right next to Urban Outfitters, is owned by the grandson and son-in-law of the late longtime Yale football coach Carmen “Carm” Cozza, who died in 2018.


It’s been open for a couple of weeks, but celebrated its grand opening Thursday.


What would Cozza, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame who was head coach at Yale from from 1965 to 1996, think about his family’s new cookie joint?


“I think he would say, ‘Welcome home,'” said Cozza’s grandson, Mark Powell, 32, who recently opened Cookie39 with his father, Cozza’s son-in-law, David Powell, of Orange. “He would definitely be excited for us.”Moments earlier, Powell, Cookie39‘s chief operating officer, told about 40 people gathered for the occasion there was no place they would rather have their shop than Broadway, which is just a four-minute walk from Cozza’s old Tower Parkway office.


“We feel as if we’re back … this is where our family belongs and this is where we’re going to be forever,” said Powell, who spent the last decade as an itinerant college football coach. He coached at Lafayette College, Yale, Villanova, Marshall University, Christopher Newport University — where he met his wife, Stephanie — Mississippi State, Austin Peay State University and Fordham University.


Both Stephanie Powell and Powell’s mother, the late Kristen “Kristy” Powell, who died in 2021, are — and were — exceptional bakers, Powell said.


Cookie39 is not the only cookie bakery in downtown New Haven. There also is an Insomnia Cookies a little over a half-mile away at 240-242 College St. and several other shops that include cookies in their mix.


But it’s generally the only independently owned cookie bakery and customers, officials and onlookers Thursday were pretty united in the feeling that it will do well.


Cookie39’s cookie varieties include chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, cookies and cream, triple chocolate, sugar with buttercream frosting and peanut butter cup. Seasonal flavors and one monthly special flavor also will be available on a rotating basis, officials said.


“I have possibly the easiest job in the world today, which is to get you all excited about cookies,” said Alexandra Daum, Yale’s associate vice president for New Haven Affairs and University Properties.


She praised Mark and David Powell for what they’ve created in the new bakery.


“You can really feel the passion and the care that’s gone into the shop,” Daum said. “It’s really nice for us not only to have a family-run business … but a family that has really deep ties to New Haven.”


Mayor Justin Elicker said he expects his two daughters to demand that they stop there when they pass by in the near future.


“I’m just so excited to welcome Mark and Dave to the community,” Elicker said. “I’m a cookie fan, just like you.”


Garrett Sheehan, president and CEO of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, welcomed Cookie39 and praised Yale for what it’s done with its properties.


“Yale really cares about New Haven and making it the best New Haven that we can,” Sheehan said.


Handsome Dan, an English bulldog, who actually is Handsome Dan XIX, was on hand with his handler, Kassandra H., Yale Class of 2018.


“New Haven and Yale are part of our family,” said David Powell in a release. “…For as long as I can remember, the city of New Haven and Yale University have been my home away from home and an extension of our family.”


In addition to cookies that customers can watch being baked in two big Blodgett ovens, Cookie39 features an “Angel Wings” mural, where customers are encouraged to take a photo “wearing” angel wings created by Global Angel Wings Project artist Colette Miller.


The mural is a tribute to Kristen Powell, a nurse who died suddenly in 2021 after 44 years married to David Powell.


As a way to give back to the community, Cookie39 plans to refrigerate and donate any unsold cookies from each day to local charitable food service providers, in addition to donating a portion of their sales to a variety of local nonprofits.


“Cookie39 has all of the ingredients for success as the newest member of the vibrant Broadway District,” said Daum in the release. “They have an outstanding product, a dedicated family-run team, and the perfect location right in the heart of The Shops at Yale. We’re thrilled David chose to strengthen his family’s deep ties to New Haven and Yale with this new endeavor.”


Cookie39, located at 39 Broadway, is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Parking is available in The Shops at Yale surface parking lot at 56 Broadway.


By Mark Zaretsky, New Haven Register


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