The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Maurice Lenell Waving Bye-Bye?

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Mar 11, 2008 5:25PM

2008_03_mllogo.gifMaurice Lenell Cookies are the source of many childhood memories, usually involving the way those bone dry pinwheels, jelly stars and other cookies could soak up a pot of coffee and still crack your teeth if you bit down on them. Lenell cookies are ubiquitous staples of local homes come Christmastime. In fact, we can't remember seeing them past the holidays in recent years.

Even so, it's sad to see that both the Lenell cookie factory and the adjoining Norridge Theatre are in the process of being bought by a Vernon Hills real estate company and turned into a retail center anchored by a Costco. Lenell has laid off more than half of its workforce since late December.

While some residents will miss going into the factory's retail center for their yearly purchases, the village of Norridge is salivating at the prospect of all those tax dollars filling their coffers from a gigantic retail outlet. Rumors abound that Lenell will outsource its production overseas, which makes us wonder if their recipe for those paperweights is proprietary.