Keep Westword Free

Santa Fe Cookie Co. Customers Can Say Goodbye to the Cookie Lady on July 17

Debbie Kuehn may not be the most recognizable name in the Denver culinary world, but everyone who lives or works downtown knows of "the Cookie Lady," who'd run the Santa Fe Cookie Co. on the 16th Street Mall since 2008, and for years before that behind Duffy's Shamrock and on the Auraria campus (going back to 1985). Kuehn passed away on June 29 after a battle with brain cancer; she was the owner and driving force behind the little bakery at Republic Plaza, so the place is now closed.

But for those who wish to honor the memory of the Cookie Lady, Kuehn's family members will fire up the ovens one last time this Monday, July 17, and give away cookies until they're gone.

Kuehn was known for her honor-system service model as well as for her delicious baked goods. Instead of standing in line at a cash register, customers simply dropped their money into a jug and grabbed their bag of cookies — three for a dollar. When Westword's Chris Utterback interviewed Kuehn in 2015, she told him that the honor system worked and that people were overwhelmingly honest, even when she was in the back of the shop with no one watching over the counter. "If someone steals a cookie? From the Cookie Lady? There would be karmic trouble," she joked.

Come by at 10 a.m. on Monday; the jug will be there as usual on the counter, and anything you decide to drop in will be donated to Colorado Public Radio and Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.