LA Cookie Con January 2015 + HUGE Giveaway (CLOSED)

February 7, 2015

Product Reviews

By: Jasmine Briones 

On Sunday, January 25th, I am happy to share that I was privileged enough to attend the first annual LA Cookie Con at the Pasadena Convention Center! I forgot my camera, yet again 🙁 So please be ready for some iphone photos! Hey, they work so don’t judge me haha.

+ OH! And there is a HUGE giveaway at the ends of this post, worth over $200, make sure you check it out!

What is the LA Cookie Con?

At this convention, sweet masters from around the country came together to show off their recipes and wares. It included demonstrations, cookie-eating contests, baking contests, current and upcoming products (both food and non-food), and fun for pretty much anyone. It was headlined by Food Network’s “Sweet Genius” host Ron Ben-Israel. The event also raised money from proceeds to benefit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Official program is available here, for those interested in possibly attending next year <3

I decided I would take you through my day at the La Cookie Con. I discovered a ton of vegan and gluten-free foods and products a for you all to check out.


I started my day off with a green juice! I wasn’t sure what would be available for me at the convention, so I got my greens on and made sure to consume vitamins and nutrients prior <3 Jewelry is by The Hungry Elephant.

I wish I had taken a photo of the entrance, but the line was caaraaazy >> More on this. I don’t want you all to get the wrong idea of the event. People arrived at the same time and it was very unexpected to the convention. Plus, there were unfortunately scalpers all over trying to sell tickets 🙁 It was disappointing that people were doing that, and I hope that next year they do not do so! Inside, it was crowded, but manageable! I was able to enjoy myself. What I was grateful for was that since Kristy ‘Anne and I were bloggers covering the event, I was able to surpass the lines and go in. Thank you LA Cookie Con!

General Admission and VIP (from the general public) received free tote bags and a King Arthur Flour bag with Annie’s graham cracker cookies and a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Lara Bar (which you can win below!). I did not receive the tote but I got a King Arthur bag.

Once I entered, I headed straight to the VIP section to see what the buzz was at the welcome party!


There were a lot of companies both in the VIP and on the general admission floor, so I will list down below what the VIP included, then talk about each of the companies as a whole, to simplify things. In the VIP, the vegan friendly companies were:

  • Sun Cafe Organic LA
  • Nature’s Bakery: Fig Bars
  • Stella Rosa
  • The Vegan Vine
  • Core Home
  • Massage Envy Spa *read below

Sun Cafe Organic Cuisine of Los Angeles


So if you live in Los Angeles and have not already gone to Sun Cafe, what the heck are you waiting for! I was at the event until the late afternoon, so I was able to try 2 of the Sun Cafe courses. For the breakfast course (above), they had: Cinnamon Rolls, Blueberry Muffins, Caramel Apple Muffins (GF) and Chocolate Chip Scones. For the lunch course (below) they had: Hummus & Flax Crackers (w/ zucchini, sumflower seeds and sesame seeds), Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms (marinated crimini mushrooms stuffed with house walnut pesto), Mac & Cheese (quinoa pasta with tomato and cashew Mac sauce) and gluten-free lemon cookies (which I missed out on).

The quinoa pasta was a bit too al dente for my liking, and I am not a flax cracker type of gal, but even besides those complaints, everything else was as amazing as Sun Cafe always is. This is definitely not food that I would eat everyday, but I can’t deny that it was all delicious.Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 7.35.16 PM

The Vegan VineScreen Shot 2015-02-07 at 11.40.28 AM

I don’t drink alcohol, but there was wine being served within the VIP from The Vegan Vine!

And you know who was serving The Vegan Vine? John Salley! John came later on during the convention, and it was exciting to meet him! (see above) I didn’t get to chat much with him for the reason being that I couldn’t even think in the VIP section at that point (aka it was crowded). I guess there wasn’t someone guarding the entrance so the general public flooded in and it was chaos. It eventually got sorted out but during that moment a picture was the last thing on my mind, I needed to get out of there haha! Anyways, The Vegan Vine founder found himself questioning other wine brands and their use of animal products. Eventually, he came to create a line of Vegan wines that were high quality—and also to educate about veganism in the process <3

Massage Envy Spa

Free Massages?!…, not really 🙁 I missed out on the free massages due to misunderstanding, but they had this cool wheel for the VIP to spin and get freebies!

I’m not too sure if they are vegan-friendly. I called the South Lake location and they said they were because they only use “gels, creams and oils”, but that answer didn’t help much! Proceed with caution, and maybe ask more questions when you get  to the location 🙂 You could always get a massage without any products!

Nature’s Bakery


Remember those fig bar snacks when you were growing up? I used to love those, but who knows what they were made of. Here they are, all grown up, without any GMOs, and whole lot more delicious! Mango and strawberry were at the top of my list, but they have ten different flavors so I still have many more to try before voting for my favorit. You can check them out here. AND enter to WIN 30 Fig bars, yes THIRTY, in the giveaway below!




My mind was blown when I was introduced to Drop: the iPad-connected kitchen scale, digital baking assistant and app! It will help you perfect all of your recipes by allowing you to precisely measure out all of the ingredients you need. What I loved was if you have, let’s say, too little or too much of an ingredient, the app will scale every other ingredient to that one ingredient so that you won’t get confused or mess up the recipe (like I would). They even have a recipe archive on their app available for use as well! I don’t know how vegan-friendly it is, but I think there is also the option of storing your own recipes as well. Drop is currently only for Apple devices but once it is out for android I am going to snag myself one forsure! You can read more about Drop here.

Ye Olde Tyme Bake Shoppe

They offered up both vegan chocolate chip cookies and vegan gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. These were good, especially the gluten-free ones for the fact that they are gluten-free, but right after we tried these, we headed to the Whole Foods booth, and sorry but those cookies were yummier (probably worse for us too haha).

Backyard Artisan Farms of Pasadena, CALACOOKIECON77

Hand crafted and organically grown fruit, herb and vegetable gardens for your home <3

Bakery Charms


The most realistically cute and adorably inedible dessert jewelry and accessories. These will definitely bring a little fun and happiness into your daily life 😉 All of these wearable treats are individually handmade in Hawaii! See more here.

Ryan Gosling <3


Coldwater Canyon Provisions

Family & heirloom recipes crafted in small batches with finest Organic or pesticide-free California produce. Kosher ingredients. All Vegan. 100% Gluten-Free. Award-winning jams, pickles, relishes, chutneys, more!

What we tried: Pomegranate Jelly and Watermelon Jelly. OH. MY. GOSH. You guys, these were incredible! The watermelon reminded me of a jolly rancher candy, and the pomegranate of a generic cherry lollipop, if you know what I mean. Other flavors that intrigued me (but I did not get to try because I am shy haha): quince jam, black mission fig jam, jalapeno chipotle jelly and dilled green beans. Available on Etsy and Good Eggs (for those in LA).

Core Home


Sorry for the weird angle of the photo, I had a hard time standing by this booth as it was extremely crowded.

Anyways, let’s not let that take away from the beauty of Core Home itself. This company creates and shares environmentally friendly houseware products. These are different brand subsets within Core, so you can check them all out here.

From the look and feel of their products, and from experiences of other bloggers, I would definitely give Core a go in my own home. I cam home with cookie stamps that I will review and share in the future, but in the mean time I would like to know if any of you have had experience with core in the kitchen?


Cookie Stamps from Core, how cute are these!

Les Beaux Chocolats

A small local company creating gourmet chocolates, a lot of which are vegan! And the owner was the sweetest woman! She told us about each of the vegan options and was so enthusiastic about her brand. Everything is made from scratch, using no artificial additives or preservatives. They havenclude a complete vegan line and every product is certified kosher.

She gave us samples of the VEGAN salted caramel chocolate (photo below), and it was delicious, but the size of a penny for about $3! From the sign, I read that a pack of 3 was $10?! I wouldn’t be down for that, if I am being honest. Yes it was delicious, but I would not spend that much on chocolate.

Check out the full product list here. From what I remember, all of the dark chocolate was vegan 🙂

Granola Mama’s Handmade GMH-bags on table

What I loved most about this company was the love that was put into their granola. It is all handmade with love, using minimally processed, organic or California grown ingredients as much as possible. They were so inviting when I came to talk to them about their product, and mannnn was the Oaxaca blend good! It’s the only one I tried because I was sold at first bite! I got a bag to take home and my family and I tore right through it. I should add that not all of their products are vegan, but rather beegan, since they contain honey in a few, so make sure you read the ingredients first. Read more about them here. AND enter to WIN 2 bags, flavors of your choice, in the giveaway below!

Lara Bars

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Non-GMO, Vegan and Kosher bars, made from simple, natural and delicious ingredients. One of my favorites is their Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, made from dates, peanuts, chocolate chips (unsweetened chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla) and sea salt, that’s it! Read more here, AND enter to WIN 2 Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip mini bars in the giveaway below!

Yvonne Ardestani: Superfood Truffles DemonstrationLA COOKIE CON7 PM

My beautiful friend Yvonne of My Eclectic Kitchen held 2 demos throughout the day, one of which I attended! She made raw, gluten-free superfood truffles that were OUT OF THIS WORLD, seriously so good! They were nut-free and so simple to make. The recipe will be on the My Eclectic Kitchen App on the next update, make sure you check it out <3

Melissa’s Produce

Melissa’s Produce will always have a place in my heart, seriously! They are always always so sweet to me and I love their products as well. I connected with them when I was first starting out on Instagram and they were very receptive to my followers and myself as well. I hope to learn a lot from their marketing strategies and grow as they have on social media. I was even fortunate enough to visit their test kitchen in Los Angeles a few months ago, which you can read about here.

At the event, they were giving out the cutest reusable bags that folded up into carrots, cleax snax boxes and hatch chili shakers! They were the host of the booth that help Vegan, Raw and Gluten-free demos (above with Yvonne), and I was so happy to see them spreading such a positive message. AND GUESS WHAT?! You can enter to WIN a box of Pumpkin Chia Seed Clean Snax, 1 Deluxe Exotic and Tropical Fruit Basket, 1 container of Hatch Chile and 1 reusable Carrot Bag from Melissa’s Produce in the giveaway below!

Sarah’s Skinny Sweets


Certified gluten-free, vegan, diabetic-friendly, low-carb cookies that are also delicious! I chatted with Sarah and learned that one of the reasons she chose to create a diabetic friendly cookie as because of her grandfather, who struggled with diabetes. She just wanted to create a treat that her whole family could enjoy, together, which I thought was so heart warming. I could really sense the connection she had with her product and intentions, and I am so happy to see a beautiful woman like her and her business flourishing! Read more here.

On to the cookies: Orange Cranberry Almond? That’s what I said too, when I was told that it was their most popular at the expo. I myself wanted to try the Dark Chocolate Macadamia, but I’m glad I didn’t. The combination just works, and really well for the fact of the matter. Sweet, Crunchy, Tangy, the perfect flavor balancing in one little cookie. AND you can enter to WIN 3 bags of the Orange Cranberry Almond in the giveaway below!


A video network where Tastemakers come together to discover and share their passion for great food and travel. I knew them from their Youtube network and Laura Miller’s Raw Vegan Not Gross Segment, but I learned at the expo that they now have an interesting and exciting app! You basically film yourself at different [foodie] locations, and review it for the app. Then it is tagged with a location so that when others want to consider the location you visited, they watch the video (with your food, opinions, etc) and decide if they want to go. Or they simply just watch it for the entertainment purposes of the video. I tried it out at the event and it is definitely something I would see myself using. In fact, I have it on my phone right now, so look forward to seeing more of the on their app. Read more hereAND head down below to enter to WIN a free Tastemade shirt in the giveaway!



An immersion circulator for sous vide cooking, top chef quality but easy enough to work with at home. I worked with a sous vide when I was at Matthew Kenney Culinary, and I was excited that I now would have the option of bringing one home and working with in my own kitchen. What you do is you put the food you wish to cook into a sealed bag, immerse that in water, then place the Nomiku in the water. It will then create a controlled water bath, with the perfect circulation of heat, to not only evenly cook the food, but also create tender, moist, and delicious flavors. I had previously used it with peaches, which I shared a photo of the final product here. Read more about Nomiku here.

Whole Foods Market


I’m sure you all know what this place is all about, I just wanted to share their presence at the event! They provided refreshments and also these delicious vegan cookies! They were one of the best at the event.

Tru Color


Natural vegan food coloring! I’m so happy that Tru Color was at the event, showing off their amazing products! They had mini demos on their side table to showcase what they were all about, and everyone really seemed to love them! You can read more about Tru Color here.

Kid Licks

Organic edible kid manicures, I know what? The are made out of fruit and vegetable pigments, and are perfect for when your kiddie wants to join in when your pamper yourself. I didn’t taste them, but I watched the action on the side lines and they loved them! The only thing was it was $13.99 for that teeny bottle. More info here.

Burkart Organics


A family-run, certified organic fruit farm from California’s Central Valley. I got both the dried persimmons and Jujubes. This was the first time I had dried persimmons and I am so mad that I did, because I think I’m hooked on them! I finished that bag first out of all that I came home with from the event. Jujubes are just as delicious, they remind me of raw vegan marshmallows because of their texture! I love them when they are partially dry, and super ripe. They are available on Good Eggs if you live in LA, and you can read more here.

Ron Ben-Israel


The host of Sweet Genius on The Food Network.

The Social Booth Co.


Fun pictures from the event! Between each photo, we had about 5 seconds to prepare, which did not work out well for anyone! I wish that  they would have given us more time in between each photo, but it was automatic and so we had to just work with it. Regardless, we got some cute pictures so I am happy with that 🙂


Thank you LA Cookie Con for having Kristy ‘Anne and I, and for all the goodies we came home with (above). We had a great time at the event, and we were very pleased with the vegan and gluten-free choices that were available and showcased to the public! I hope there will be more next year 😉 I can’t wait!


I didn’t just come home with some freebies for myself…I came home with some freebies for ya’ll as well!
This is a HUGE giveaway, this largest single giveaway I’ve had on my blog, so make sure you enter! Here is what you will win, and make sure you check out the descriptions of the brands above!


Maybe I should just keep this all to myself? 😉 These prizes are just TOO GOOD!!

There are many ways to enter (below). You can earn up to 18 entries today!

Bonus Entry: Comment on any other blog post — leave a comment below with the link to the blog post 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! Giveaway is US Only and will be open until 2/21/15 12:00 AM PST.


Disclaimer: All opinions shared on this post are my own. I was provided products for prizes by the above companies, excluding Lara Bar and Tastemade, which were products of my own.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. nancy says:

    Melissa’s produce – i like the ideas

  2. Jessica z says:

    I am very excited for Sarah’s Skinny Sweets because I always need sweets at the end of teaching but won’t compromise my health choices.

  3. Melanie says:

    I love the produce basket!

  4. Chandra says:

    I am excited for all of this! Haha I love food, but I’m most excited for the cookies, because I have a sweet tooth!

  5. Cheyenne Lentzner says:

    I’m excited for the shirt because I love a good pun;) Also the fig bars because they’re perfect to pack with me at soccer practice!!

  6. Sarah says:

    All parts of this prize are amazing but the fig bars are already a favorite – first tried them through my conscious box and can’t get enough. Thank you for the opportunity and for your great stewardship of veganism!

  7. Carrie J. says:

    Excited for Sarah’s Skinny Sweets for a Paleo treat!

  8. Celina says:

    Love the granola!

  9. Catherine Nguyen says:

    I love natures bakery fig bars! They are amazing!

  10. Alex says:

    I am excited for the fig bars because I loved a different brand of them growing up, but didn’t like the ingredients.

  11. Lacey says:

    I’m most excited for the Melissa’s produce basket! It sounds so amazing! But really, so does everything;)

  12. Jenny says:

    I would love to try Sarah’s skinny sweets! They sound like a great treat without wrecking a healthy diet.

  13. Lindsey K says:

    I am definitely most excited for Melissa’s Deluxe Exotic and Tropical fruit basket! Most of the fruits listed I have never seen before and would love to try them! 🙂

  14. Amanda Parrish says:

    Those fig bars look amazing!

  15. Cat K says:

    I’m excited to try all the products from Melissa’s Produce, especially that fruit basket! They seem to be a lovely company and I enjoy that they have such a variety of products. I often wish that I could eat fully raw (I did for a short period of time) but I generally can’t afford the amount of food that I need to eat on raw and don’t have access to all those wonderful tropical fruits you see on social media. If I got my hands on that basket I would be in raw fruit paradise! 🙂

  16. Chelsea says:

    I am the most excited for Sarah’s Skinny Sweets because I am always craving something sweet!

  17. Leah Pederson says:

    I’m excited for the homemade granola! YUM!

  18. Nancy says:

    Everything looks delicious! The fig bars look so yummy!!

  19. Christine says:

    First of all: WOW! You are hell of crazy, girl!
    THANK YOU!!!!! This is so awesome.. how do we even deserve that? 😮

    The only product I’ve ever heard of are the Fig Bars.. but never had the chance to taste them.
    I’m really excited for this giveaway! The winner will be reeeeeaaally happy.. I mean like CRAZY HAPPY! 😛

  20. Gaddemon says:

    Amazing, I’d love this.

  21. Anna says:

    I would love the tropical fruit basket from Mellisa produce.. I simply LOVE fruit

  22. Tammi says:

    I am excited about the fig bars. We travel quite a bit and I am always looking for a quick, healthy go-to snack

  23. Jessica says:

    I would be thrilled to try any and all of them, but I am most excited about the Fig Bars because, as a young mother of two very hungry boys, it is hard to find good whole some snacks for them and myself for our always on the go schedules!!

  24. Holly E says:

    I really want to try Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars. I love the flavor options and I have never tried them.

  25. Jeannine Ho says:

    Everything!!! Sweet treats from Sarah’s skinny sweets, the granola from Mama’s Handmade and the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Lara Bars!! Mouth is already watering. Need sweets stat!

  26. Antoinette says:

    Sarah’s Skinny Cookies look so good!

  27. WOW! It looks like you attended a great convention.

    Those Fig bars look delicious.

  28. Oh, the prize I’m most excited about are the Orange Cranberry Almond cookies because I love orange/cranberry combinations 🙂

  29. Janel M. says:

    I’m most excited about the Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars because I’ve had them and they’re wonderful. They would give my husband and I a few weeks worth of yummy snacking.

  30. Kim says:

    The fig bars ! Looks to be a nice addition to my lunch!

  31. jmayer says:

    Super yum! Excited for the fig bars and cookies!

  32. Becca F says:

    The clean snax pumpkin seeds.

  33. Jessika Black says:

    Everything sounds amazing but I am most excited for the fruit basket from Melissa’s Produce, because I do not think I can get many of the products in it in my area!

  34. Chelsea says:

    The cookies and granola sound so yummy!

  35. Erin Ellis says:

    I am most excited about the fruit basket, because my family and I are fruit nuts, but it all looks really awesome! Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.

  36. Phyllis Heffner says:

    I am most excited bout the fruit basket from Melissa. I am a fruit-a-holic and just love all types of fruit.

  37. Carol Wolfe says:

    Actually I have two favorites! Sarah’s Skinny Sweets and Clean Snax.

  38. Susan Christy says:

    I love granola.

  39. kregheg says:

    I love granola

  40. Erzsébet says:

    All are high quality products.

  41. Gabor Dekany says:

    Granola rocks 😀

  42. Christian says:

    It’s so hard to choose which one of the multiple amazing things I am most excited for….If I would have to choose, though, I think I would decide the Pumpkin Seed Snacks! They sound delicious 😉

  43. Sam says:

    All of the products seem so amazing, especially while I’m on my journey to becoming full vegan! I am most excited about the granola though… I eat granola like a mad woman! 🙂

  44. Teréz says:

    OMG those fig bars!!!

  45. Alexandra says:

    Fig bars looks sooo good 🙂

  46. Chandra says:

    Yum yum yum, so much fruit! Mmmmmmm

  47. Tibi says:

    I’m in love with granola…

  48. Kristen says:

    I’m most excited for the fruit basket because we love fruit and it looks delicious!

  49. Heather S. says:

    I’m most excited for Sarah’s orange cranberry almond cookies! They sound so goooood

  50. Stefanie Gladden says:

    definitely the fig bars!! I’ve always been a fan of figs!!

  51. Jia Hui L. says:

    The cookies! Orange cookies are so interesting 🙂

  52. Eiren says:

    Ou the chile!

  53. shaunie says:

    So excited for the Natures Bakery Fig bars because looks so delicious without the worry!

  54. cassandra says:

    I am most looking forward to the fruit basket. I would love to try the different tropical fruits.

  55. k8 b8 says:

    Meeep I’m super stoked about allllll the prizes especially the t shirt and cookies 😛

  56. Chandra says:

    I want to go to a vegan convention

  57. Kim Henrichs says:

    Ooh, the pumpkin chia seed clean snax!! They sound so GOOD! Love pumpkin.

  58. Stacy F. says:

    I’m going to have to say I’m most excited for the massive amount of fig bars. My little one LOVES nutri-grain bars, but they are sooo processed it’s hard for me to give them to her so often. I think these would make for a GREAT healthier alternative!

  59. nadya kotik says:

    Deluxe Exotic and Tropical Fruit Basket because I love fruits

  60. David Holder says:

    I am excited about the fig bars!

  61. Maria Leinonen says:

    Those Orange Cranberry Almond Cookies sound to die for! I’ve never heard of the brand. Would love to try them out.

  62. William W says:

    Wow! These all sound awesome! Really interested in the cookies!

  63. Carolsue says:

    The container of Hatch Chili sounds good to me! I’d like to try that first.

  64. Lauren says:

    I would like to try the Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars. They sound like the perfect snack!

  65. Jubilee Gamaniel says:

    Excited for Sarah’s Skinny sweets but everything else looks so yummy too. I love all this deliciousness!

  66. Katelyn says:

    The Clean Snax sounds delicious

  67. Courtney Weimer says:

    So exciting! Such great items!!

  68. linda says:

    Melissa’s produce because fresh fruits are so good for you!

  69. Alejandro Correa says:

    The fruit basket because ooooooo that good nutritious fruit

  70. Nicole says:

    All of the prizes look good! I’m excited about Melissa’s produce.

  71. Britany says:

    Definitely most excited about the tropical fruit basket! Oh! and the fig bars. 😀

  72. Melissa says:

    fig bars are my absolute fave!

  73. DD says:

    They all look so wonderful! I think I’m most excited about the fruit basket.

  74. Lori Sexton Leal says:

    I have a larabar obsession (I’m eating one now, chocolate chip cookie dough), Melissa’s Produce is awesome according to my sister so I’ve wanted to try it out, and I love the t-shirt!!! Oh and my son has a milk allergy, most importantly, so I’m always on the lookout for new vegan brands. I’m excited about every part of this giveaway! Thanks for the chance 🙂 Good luck everyone! ♡ xoxo

  75. Yesenia says:

    I’m very excited for Natures bakery fig bars! I love fig bars and I haven’t tried those!

  76. Chandra says:

    Excited to see who the lucky winner is!

  77. Dawn says:

    I can’t agree that whole food cookies are better then Ye Olde Tyme Bake Shoppe. The first time I tried whole food vegan cookies was the last time and I was non vegan. I was convinced that vegan made cookies were dry and tasteless. A few months later I was at a party and had a cookie that I was unaware of it being a vegan cookie and loved it! I then learned it was vegan and couldn’t believe it! I learned later that a lot of clients of ye old tyme bake shop were non vegan because they are that damn delicous. I’ve had the rum balls as well which are my favorite! I wouldn’t dare buy a nasty store bought vegan cookie when I know I can get some freshly made ones from a local vegan baker. You may want the re-evaluate your review on Ye Olde Tyme Bake Shoppe There’s no way a store bought cookie is better then theirs. Not by a long shot.

Hey there!

We share fresh and fun recipes to show you that vegan cooking is easy, approachable and delicious...

We're Jasmine & Chris.

Hey there!

meet the bloggers





Thank you for subscribing!

Want our recipes delivered straight to your inbox?

the latest scoop:


Want our recipes delivered straight to your inbox?

Sign up to get the latest recipes, video announcements, and more!

Thank you for subscribing!