Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Retail & Industry
Published on October 30, 2015
New Owners Take Over At Castro Favorite Hot CookiePhotos: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

After opening Hot Cookie on Castro Street back in 1997, founder and owner Dan Glazer has sold the business to close friends Paul Perretta and Perretta's father, Tony Roug. Fans of the shop's cookies, butch bars, and the tourist-enticing "Penis and Venus" chocolate-covered macaroons can rest assured knowing that not much is going to change at the neighborhood favorite.

Glazer moved to San Francisco in January of 1997 from Santa Cruz, where he previously ran a different successful cookie shop, and opened Hot Cookie the following month. When Glazer was looking for a location, he noticed that Mrs. Fields Cookies, now Eureka Cafe, had recently closed and decided to take over what was then the original location of Double Rainbow Ice Cream for a cookie shop of his own.

Dan Glazer in 1998 (Photo: Dan Glazer)

Glazer tells us that after 35 years in the cookie business, it was just time to move on to something else. But Glazer didn't want to sell the business to just anyone: it was important to him that the new owners would be involved in the community just as much as he has been. Glazer himself is proud to say that he donates to approximately 150 charities and organizations annually, and was even knighted in 2008 by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for his commitment to the community.

Photo: Dan Glazer

When Perretta and Roug approached Glazer, he knew that he had found the right people to take over the cookie business and maintain a strong relationship with the community.

Part of that community relationship can be seen in the shop's decorations. As you enter Hot Cookie, you'll notice hundreds of photos on the walls of scantily clad men and women wearing Hot Cookie's signature bright red underwear. Glazer tell us that after first attempting, rather unsuccessfully, to sell t-shirts with the store's logo, they opted to try something different. From the very beginning, the underwear was a huge hit and it continues to be a big draw for the cookie shop.

Glazer notes that during his 18-year run as Hot Cookie's owner, he always had a good relationship with his landlord. Glazer said he appreciated the fact that he had a landlord that understood the importance of small business, especially given the current real estate market.

While Glazer is stepping away from Hot Cookie, he is only semi-retiring. He'll be spending more time with family, helping out with a family business, and pursuing his passions of glass-blowing and music.

Hot Cookie's new owner, Paul Perretta

To find out what's in store, we caught up with Perretta earlier this week, on his second day of owning the business. Perretta, who was previously a teacher, tells us that at this time "there are no plans to change the concept" and to expect only "soft changes to refine the process and modernize things at the back end of the business."

When we asked Perretta about whether everyone's favorite chocolate-dipped Penis and Venus macaroons will be staying, he chuckled and said, "Yes, we'll still be selling them."

In the future, Perretta plans to bring the cookies online, and hopes to expand to other locations. The first place they'd like to expand? Boystown in Chicago.

Thanks to tipsters Dan G., Daniel B. and Patrick B. for clueing us in to the news.