Building Community with Cookies

While studying at the Lazy Daisy Cafe in Toronto’s east end with some classmates, I came across this inspiring poster in front of the washrooms:

As cities and bank accounts grow, we find ourselves becoming less social and our sense of community diminishing.  We surround ourselves with metal cars and brick houses, and start to care less about our fellow citizens.  We stop trusting one another and become isolated, medicated and miserable. I think that building community is extremely important in developing a sense of place and belonging. It fosters social skills and a sense of purpose. We feel less isolated and more connected to one another. We trust each other and begin to create a place to live in that’s friendly and safe.

In our third year of naturopathic medical school we have been learning about various business models: marketing skills, clinical practice models, etc. One of the pieces of advice that I think is missing, however, is integration into the community. When you begin to serve others, you eventually nestle into your niche, gain the trust and respect of others and, in turn, are able to develop a livelihood. I believe becoming an influential member of the community is the best business strategy for a small business owner, especially one dedicated to family health, but it’s also a great strategy for living a life that’s healthy, happy and fulfilled.

Plus, there’s something pleasing about the idea of sitting on the front stoop of your house or apartment with a coffee while people watching on a Saturday afternoon.

Get a head start:

Meet-the-Neighbours Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies (Dairy and Wheat-free).


1/2 cup coconut oil

3 tbs honey

1 cup of your favourite gluten-free flour (I use a mixture of brown rice flour, almond flour and quinoa flour, but using coconut or almond flour makes these cookies paleo).

1/8 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp baking powder

1 capful of vanilla extract

4 eggs

3/4 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup shredded coconut


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix the coconut oil and honey together in a small bowl and microwave for about 15 seconds to melt the two ingredients together. Blend in the flour, vanilla, eggs, salt and shredded coconut. Add in the chocolate chips last. On a greased cookie sheet, distribute little cookie dollops evenly.

Bake for 12-15 minutes depending on how soft you like your cookies.

Guaranteed allergen-free friend-makers!


12 thoughts on “Building Community with Cookies

  1. This is a wicked post! It contains a recipe to draw them in and some real thought for them to consider once they’re here!! LOL. (We all know how people feel about recipes!) ESPECIALLY COOKIE RECIPES!! Since coming to CCNM and experiencing for the first time a sense of community – I never knew what that felt like before – I know that I want this for the rest of my life. I love those suggestions on the sign. No matter where I go I plan to cultivate it and be part of my community. That alone, I think will do wonders for people’s health – re joining their local community!

    1. Exactly! Building community with Paleo cookies (which are amazing and got the family approval – didn’t know they were gluten and dairy-free). Our society is to individualistic and our “packs” are basically our nuclear families: approximately 4 people in North America. In residential neighbourhoods, houses are spaced apart, shutters are closed, doors locked and recreational time is spent doing organized activities that we pay for; very little time is dedicated to connecting with the communities in which we live. It’s a good business strategy and a general strategy for life. We are social animals and we need each other!

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