John Jannuzzi

The editorial director of Bonobos on making America's favorite cookie, losing weight for spite, and the life-changing magic of Renaissance Man.


I started Jannuzzi’s Cookies while I was still at GQ. I was on vacation in New Mexico and we found this chocolate place there called Kakawa Chocolates. They sold Mesoamerican hot chocolate elixirs. It was like crack. I just got hooked on the flavors. When I came back to the city, I was like, okay, I'm going to try and make this myself. I would make Duncan Hines Chocolate Cake and pour sriracha in it and see what would happen. It was disgusting.

I kept trying to work with that and eventually it became way too complicated with the kitchen setup that I had. So I switched to cookies and decided that instead of trying to do the spices thing, I'd just to try to make a chocolate chip cookie that was really good. It snowballed from there. When I was testing recipes, I would bring a box to work once or twice a week. People kept asking, "Are you starting something?"

When I got laid off, a really good friend of mine was like, "You should do the cookies full time." I didn't. But it's still something I would really like to do, especially because a lot of my peers have their own things. Whether they're a huge success or not, it’s something that's their own—something they can make a living at and totally control. I'm so envious of that. Not that I don't love the jobs that I've had.


Working at Bonobos is cool—they make great pants that fit my weird legs so that's a huge plus.