The Riverside Cookie Shoppe Conversion

Riverside Cookie Shoppe - Assorted Cookies

“Don’t be afraid of change. You may lose something good, but you’ll gain something better.” – Unknown

Everything in life is subject to change, your relationships, job, home, even your favorite bakery.

Yes, nothing in life is sacred. However, change can be a good thing.

Such is the case for Riverside Cookie Shoppe in Riverside, California. Formerly known as Pine Bakery, in January of this year they changed their name and focus to fresh baked cookies, cupcakes, cake pops, and a few pastries.

I visited the shoppe on a weekday afternoon to assess their array of goodies. About 2/3 of the display case held their cookies and pastries, while 1/3 of the case was cupcakes and cake pops.

There was nothing exceptional about their cupcakes, just white cake or chocolate embellished with spring colors. Still, at only $2 each, I picked two cupcakes for my frosting fix before moving along.

Cookies were 65 cents each or $6.99 per dozen. Comprised of familiar and unique flavors, their cookie selection had something for everyone. I limited myself to three and left before my willpower faded.

At home, I sampled my first cookie before dinner, the Chocolate Coco Puff. It’s a chocolate cookie with chocolate chips, dusted with powdered sugar. The associate at the Riverside Cookie Shoppe described it as a brownie cookie.

Riverside Cookie Shoppe - Chocolate Creme Filled Cupcakes

She was absolutely right. Soft, moist, and chocolaty, I inhaled it in a couple of bites.

Later, with my composure regained and dinner done, I returned to the bag of cookies.

My hand clasped the Salted Caramel Nutella, a Nutella cookie stuffed with caramel and sprinkled with Fleur de Sel.

From the first bite, the rich and chewy caramel seemed to overshadow the Nutella notes. Yet, the salt was noticeable. Its delicate presence enhanced the treat.

The last cookie was Snowberry, an oatmeal cookie with cranberries and white chocolate. Although the name was more suitable for winter, the combo fascinated me. 

Savoring the soft texture, I took nibbles. Noting the white chocolate chips and bits of tangy cranberries. Behind the brownie cookie, it was my second favorite from the Riverside Cookie Shoppe.

The next day, I switched to cupcake mode and tasted their Creme filled Chocolate Cupcake. It’s a chocolate cupcake, filled with crème and coated with chocolate.

Riverside Cookie Shoppe - White CupcakesThe cake retained its freshness well. But despite its flowery flourish, it was average. From the flavor to the filling, it reminded me of a bakery made Hostess cupcake. 

I looked to their White Cupcake with an inkling of what was to come. 

The first piece proved my intuition correct. Like the chocolate, the white cake tasted fresh, but average. There was some density and moisture. Still, with the flavorless frosting, this cupcake was more for looks.

Therefore, the Riverside Cookie Shoppe earns two distinct ratings, as I had two different experiences.

I give them 4 out of 5 stars for their cookies. Their bakery to cookie shoppe conversion was driven by customer demand for their variety of cookies. Now that I’ve tried, I can see why.

On the other hand, I give them 3 out of 5 stars for their cupcakes. They look nice and customization is available too. But the taste is ordinary.

The owner of Riverside Cookie Shoppe said people are accepting the change. Overall, old customers are still frequenting and they’re attracting new patrons with the new name.

Looks like Riverside lost a good bakery, but gained a better cookie shoppe. 

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