Since she was a small girl, Miriam Limov loved to bake.
“I remember baking with my mom, growing up and having such fun creating enormous layer cakes and covering them in candy of all kinds for birthdays and parties,” she said.
On March 22, Limov and her husband, Union Hill School Principal Joe Limov, launched a new cookie business, Rainbow’s End.
It’s a namesake shared by the couple’s Penn Valley country property of 24 years where they raised their two daughters.
These aren’t just any cookies. All 11 varieties the Limovs offer start with one common ingredient: pumpkin.
It all began 25 years ago, when Miriam Limov’s mother-in-law first introduced a moist and delicious pumpkin spice cookie. Soon Miriam Limov was playing with the recipe — taking out the spices and raisins and adding chocolate chips and later, butterscotch chips.
This combination became what she calls, the “Original” cookie. By using pumpkin, the cookies require less butter than other varieties — producing a cakier, healthier, cookie.
Limov makes a point to use almost all organic ingredients.
“I’ve been making those cookies for as long as I can remember for every party, celebration, and occasion and they became a hit every time,” said Limov.
Many know Limov from her time at South Yuba River Citizen’s League. For 17 years, she volunteered for the organization, producing the annual auction and running events.
For the last seven years she has worked as the organization’s River People Manager. Every week her volunteers get home-baked cookies for their hard work.
In June, she will step down from her post at SYRCL to work nearly full-time at Emily’s Catering and Cakes and devote more time to her cookie business and her passion for backpacking in the Sierra Nevada.
Over the years, Limov gave out her recipe to hundreds of folks and everyone urged her to sell her cookies. When the cottage food law went into effect last January, Limov realized she could bake in her own kitchen and give a food business a try.
Limov offers 11 different varieties for order: pumpkin, chocolate chip, butterscotch cookies (The Original); pumpkin, cocoa, chocolate chip coconut; pumpkin, coconut, chocolate chip; pumpkin, peanut butter, cocoa, chocolate chip; pumpkin, peanut butter, chocolate chip; pumpkin, oatmeal, chopped apples and pears, raisins, and chocolate chip (Gluten Free) with the option to add walnuts, or remove chocolate, or remove raisins.
She also offers two flourless chocolate cakes, too.
For now, Limov uses canned pumpkin, but in the fall plans to harvest fresh pumpkin from the garden. In the works — awaiting approval from the county — is a pumpkin brownie and several kinds of muffins.
“Our daughters grew up eating these cookies and I stopped buying store-bought cookies,” Limov said.
She likes to bake without measuring and often uses whatever is available in the kitchen for muffins, cookies and bars.
“It’s like an art of messing around in the kitchen. … When I went gluten free three years ago for health reasons, I started playing around with gluten free varieties, too,” she said.
Launching a business was no small undertaking. It took a full year of preparation to create and apply for a local business name, design a logo, test water, acquire a food handler license, create a label, research packaging, test cookies and allow inspections of her home kitchen before finally fulfilling all the requirements needed to get approval from the county.
Big fans of the outdoors, the Limov’s logo says it all — a mountain with “a perfect blue sky” and “a rainbow giving you the magic that nature brings to us.”
All along the way, the Limovs have received an outpouring of support from friends and community.
Peggy Malmud-Wright of Treats ice cream in Nevada City, a SYRCL volunteer, has been Limov’s biggest business supporter. Treats hosted Rainbow’s End launch party and every weekend offer Rainbow’s End cookies.
The cookies are always sold out by Sunday. SPD market in Nevada City and Caroline’s Coffee in Grass Valley will soon carry the cookies and BYOB Winery hosted a wine and cookie tasting event two weeks ago.
Miriam Limov hopes to increase her direct sales to customers by providing for parties, events, staff meetings and company lunches.
Each month, Limov donates a portion of her proceeds to a local nonprofit group. In the past six weeks, she has donated to: Hospitality House’s Empty Bowl event, Wildlife Rehabilitation art night, SYRCL’s State of the Yuba Event, Cinderella Project opening boutique event and this weekend to Soroptimist Garden Tour event.
“I’m excited to be a catalyst for joyful occasions. I am an extra-happy person and love to celebrate at all opportunities,” she said.
Do you have a local food story? Contact freelance writer Laura Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-s913-3067.