Selling cookies like a crack dealer, by dangling a string out your kitchen window

Fat Cookies sells cookies out of a second-story window in San Francisco. Owners Eve, Kathleen and Clem dangle a string with a sign advertising their goodies out of the kitchen window of their apartment "$1 for a FRESH baked cookie! (pull the string if you wish to partake)" Pull the string and send up a dollar and they'll lower down a cookie.

The street finds its own use for things, and in this case, the street is a nice one in Dolores Park, and the "thing" is a time-honored cocaine dealer's technique.

Cookies Sold by String Dangling From San Francisco Apartment Window (via Super Punch)


  1. Pretty sure they’ll get shut down now—you can’t sell things made in a home oven, you have to have a business license and pay taxes and I’m guessing that the sign is also a violation and people wonder why there is no innovation or new jobs being created—in the past so many things started out in a home kitchen or garage and now it’s against the law. This is why governments need a nice riot and refresh every now and then.

    1. You’re comment is depressingly true.

      On a side note, my neighbor made some delicious chili for us once. I wonder how many people would consider this weird. Neighbors acting neighborly. We are becoming a nation of antisocial a-holes. I’d totally buy these ladies cookies. At least one to give it a try.

    2. Not necessarily. Michigan, for instance, recently enacted a law that makes it easier for “cottage food” makers. You can now legally sell homemade goods, provided that it’s labeled as being produced in an non-inspected kitchen and that you do less than $15k per year in sales.

      Considering SF’s recent fight to get rid of Happy Meals though, I’m not sure if these women would benefit from a similar law.

    3. I haven’t corresponded with any Eqyptians, but I’m pretty certain that didn’t get “a nice riot and refresh” b/c they couldn’t sell cookies out of windows.

      Please re-attend Similies and Metaphors 101. Thank you.

      P.S. If you want to patronize businesses which sell food that might poison you b/c the owner can’t afford to be licensed and inspected, that’s your right.

      But if the neighbors of these people complain about the noise, and the landlord tells them that their lease doesn’t allow them to operate a business out of their residence, that’s *their* right. And *they* would be right.

      1. Apparently, TheCrawNotTheCraw, it isn’t my right to risk being poisoned if I want to. Uh uh, not a chance. Freedom? It’s a dying concept.

    4. o but underground economy thrives. I myself push perogies for my gramma. She makes em and i sell em. She gets all the moneys because she is my gramma a unleast she gets some money to put under her matress.

  2. It puts the dollar in the basket.
    Or else it doesn’t get the cookie again.
    It does this whenever it’s hungry.

  3. If this becomes remotely successful, some city-father (or other financially interested party) will find cause to shut them down. (“who’s to say what the next thing to be sold out of windows shall be?? this must be licensed, policed… there must be oversight!“)

    oh, they’ll never be the darling of the so-called “City Fathers” who cluck their tongues, stroke their beards, and talk about “What’s to be done with this window dangling cookie sales?”


  4. This could have almost come straight out of ‘Makers’.

    Which was an awesome book btw, but I’ve already mentioned that :)

    1. I have met a great many coke dealers in my chequered past, and not a single one of them ever used that business model.

      Giving away a product that is in tremendous demand is self-defeating.

  5. Well what we need is more laws to put limits on the laws we already have. That way people can’t abuse the law and use it against others…

    This all circles around to that fresh milk debate and 100’s others like them.

    If I want to buy some sweets from the nice man in the van with the blacked out windows then so be it…if I get sick then that really should just be my fault.

    Or if I put a dollar in the basket and get back a cookie with raisins in it, that’s just my luck.

    I should totally start selling fresh baked goods in the median, maybe some coffee too. To bad I don’t know of a median or street corner that isn’t already taken by a pan handler.

  6. These look like nice girls selling reasonably priced cookies that are probably tasty.

    All negative commenters need to look in the mirror, take a deep breath, and run around the block.

    Then enjoy a cookie.

  7. ShortBus—that’s good to know, the economy in Michigan really needs all the help it can get.

    TheCrawNotTheCraw—yeah, their internet got shut off—the point is that keeping a government in power is mostly about keeping the people so sated that they really don’t feel the need to do anything. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t have jobs and they probably won’t, once we get enough people who want to work but can’t the anti-gov talk will start, with 10% of the population out of work you’ve got a nice little army there that sees everyone else watching cable and playing on the net in their nice warm houses, and they aren’t even allowed to sell a cookie through their window to make a little cash to get by, if they want to set up a stand on the corner they need a permit. They can’t even put in a farm stand to get rid of extra tomatoes they grow. If people are telling you no every time you try to save yourself and now your money is gone, what happens, are people supposed to sit there and starve just because there is no legal option open to them? Michigan has one of the worst economies in the US and they also have an abundance of militias—coincidence? Idle hands are the devils tools. Better that those hands are baking cookies.

  8. In Europe this sort of thing was once common, but in the opposite way. Aristocrats and the rich townfolk used to live on the first (or even second) floor, watching the proles from balconies, and whenever they saw something they liked, they’d shout at the vendor and lower the basket; the vendor would put merchandise in the basket, send it back, and wait for payment to materialize in return.

    Between that and carriages, very rich people could basically live without ever touching the Earth. This was, of course, because streets stank and were dirty as hell — people simply used to throw their sewage on the open road.

    Once it became more common for working-class people to live in flats, the mechanism was kept as convenience for decades, at least until lifts became ubiquitous (and grocers basically stopped delivering, before being altogether replaced by supermarkets).

  9. What do you get if you send up 15 cents, a nail, and the shell of a great, great, great grandfather snail?

  10. It amazes me these girls aren’t selling cookies out of Pelican Bay State Penitentiary – based in San Francisco, unlicensed food selling, and selling a product contributing to the obesity epidemic that is driving America straight to H-E_Double Hockey Sticks in a hand basket.

    1. Seriously? Homemade cookies aren’t contributing to obesity in America. Idiots consuming a few dozen homemade cookies are contributing to their own obesity, and then suing the sugar company for getting the Diabetes.

      Also, to the “homemade food is unsafe” crap: let us take a look at this: Would someone with poisonous cookies be selling them on a string at Dolores Park, a good five blocks from the police station? Do you really think someone with this entrepreneurial spirit is THAT stupid? Did your friend who lived down the street as a kid have a mom or older sister that tried to poison you with cookies? Have we gotten so wretchedly skeptical that we will turn down homebaked cookies? This is as stupid as saying that pregnant ladies shouldn’t eat blue cheese or salami. Good god. How did we ever survive as a species for so long eating such unsafe food . . ?

  11. I can’t believe how many people are hating on this.

    Everything about this is awesome. Yes, a much overused word, but there is it and I stand by it.

    To all the “Gahh, poisoned by eating uncertified food! Augh!” people:

    – Have you never eaten homemade food? How often did it poison you vs enrich you?

    – Do you know the health department ratings for the restaurants you eat in? It’s amazing how awful you can be before being shut down (rat droppings on food preparation surfaces, etc.) These women have shared photos of their kitchen and it’s cleaner than a lot of restaurants I’ve enjoyed.

    Everyone needs to unclench and enjoy a cookie. (I would have stopped by and sent up a few dollars today but torrential rain got in the way.)

  12. On a completely different tangent: Although it’s hard to tell, and could well be a photographical artefact, it looks like the girl on the right has some sort of burn marks on her face. The other girl looks a little burnt too. Could this second-story work be a way to get around people’s fear of disfigured sales staff?

  13. i first saw something like this 4 or 5 years ago in bushwick brooklyn by THE BURRITO MAN. it was right outside the bar Wreck Room – there was a bucket hanging from the 4th floor of the building next to it hanging out where all the smokers were smoking with a sign that said “burritos for sale”. the burritos were EXCELLENT!!!

    THE BURRITO MAN also used to make deliveries to the local bars – after all the food places closed if you needed a little food at 3am the burrito man would come to you with a burritos in a bucket.

    damn those burritos were tasty!!!

  14. I saw a travel/food show (Julie Andrieu I believe) where they showed this as a fairly common practice in… North Africa maybe? If anyone cares.

  15. Screw this debate about legalities. What I want to know is whether the tastyness of those hash cookies has been confirmed by any readers?

  16. PULL THE STRING! PULL THE STRING! PULL THE STRING! (Have these women been watching Ed Wood movies, or what?)

    Oh, it don’t mean a thing if I can’t pull that string… (ba-da-bump!)

    OK, enough jokes.

    To all the “Gahh, poisoned by eating uncertified food! Augh!” people:

    – Have you never eaten homemade food? How often did it poison you vs enrich you?

    Put another way, how many brownies, cookies and loaves of bread have you bought from say, church bake sales?

    I’ll take cookies made from scratch by attractive young women in their own kitchen, made from ingredients which are a lot more wholesome than what you’ll find listed on a typical box of supermarket cookies, over much of what’s out there.

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