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Return of the Cookie Queen

Model, mom and baker, all rolled into one


Lori Nader Gray’s latest foray into the cookie industry was less the start of a new adventure than the continuation of an old one. This fall, the Danville resident debuted her Lori’s Legendary Cookies line of frozen baked goods, but her tasty treats—which can be baked as one large “royal” cookie or broken up into four “princess”-sized portions—are only half the tale.

Actually, Gray has had a lifetime of experience in the industry—a roller coaster of sugar highs and lows—and when you throw in her history as a teen model, you’ve got the basis for her new autobiography. From Cover Girl to Cookie Queen features her life story in chapters book-ended by some of her favorite sweets recipes.

“I’ve really come full circle in my life,” says Gray. “The book is meant to encourage people to never let go of their dreams, to always pursue their passions.”

A few highlights:

• The Walnut Creek 16-year-old won a Cover Girl modeling contest, leading to a six-year modeling run—and the start of a constant battle between her love of baking and maintaining a model’s figure.

• Gray was exonerated in court after being sued by Mrs. Fields Cookies and accused of stealing recipes, and with her husband started up Blue Chip Cookies, which grew to more than 70 stores nationwide at its peak.

• Following a thorny breakup with her husband, Gray sold her interest in Blue Chip and moved her two young girls out of their Piedmont home to Concord to raise them as a single mother closer to her family.

Gray will hold a book reading at Read Booksellers in Blackhawk Plaza on December 5 at 2 p.m. For information on her book and cookies, go to lorislegendary.com.

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