What’s better than a room full of warm cookies, rare books, and good people?

My new friend Sol Orwell produced the Chocolate Chip Cookie Off last night in New York City to benefit She’s the First, a non-profit focused on educating women in developing countries.

This might be the best for-purpose event ever.

Sign that lists the names of all the bakeries and bakers who donated

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Off 2017 in NYC

Large loft-style room with at least 150 people

Big crowd of great people in the Rare Books Room at The Strand Bookstore

Famous Guests

Ramit Sethi, Helene Godin of By The Way Bakery, and Seth Godin

There were many internet famous people here, including:

Brennan Dunn and Dorrie Clark and hundreds of books. I wish I had a library in my apartment

  • Steve Kamb, Nerd Fitness
  • Chris Winfield, super-connector
  • Nick Ganju, ZocDoc co-founder
  • Cathryn Lavery, co-founder of Best Self Co
  • Selena Soo, entrepreneur and coach
  • Seth Godin, author
  • Tammy Tibbetts, She’s The First

Tammy Tibbetts hates the word “charity” and prefers to say for-purpose, non-profit, or NGO

… and lots more great people who I didn’t get a chance to meet or link to.

Cookie Pic Porn

Close-up. This is what we came for, and OP delivered.

This is ONE tray. There were dozens like this, all lined up.

Black cookies

Cookie diversity is important. Thank you to this chef for breaking out of the mold.

Venue: Rare Book Room at The Strand

Located on the third floor inside New York City’s most famous book store is the Rare Books Room of The Strand Bookstore.

Rare Books section of Strand Bookstore. Behind this door is a huge space.

We had access to the entire floor, including the rare books.

Books on display, which theoretically we could read. But… cookies.

The space soon filled up with cookie-lovers.

Cookie monsters! Many people attended this for-purpose event supporting She’s the First.

Sol Orwell

I recently met Sol on the internet.

He messaged me and I didn’t know what to make of him.

Is this guy for real?

Is he Y.A.I.M.W.L.S.?
(Yet Another Internet Marketer With Little Substance)

Sol Orwell is a good guy.

Sol spoke last night from a place of passion about charity and community.

To gather such a crowd in a place like New York City, to raise $25,000 in benefit of a group that supports women in India, and to solicit cookies from so many of the best bakeries and chefs…

It is clear to me that this guy is T.R.D.
(The Real Deal)

Evaluation of Sol Orwell

On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely am I to recommend Sol Orwell to be your friend?
10. 10. 10.

VIPs from India

I had the chance to speak to one of the women who benefitted from She’s the First.

Me and Preetha, one of the recipients of She’s the First

This was Preetha’s first visit to New York City.

I asked her and her friend Majula: what things do you notice that are special about New York City?

See my notes from my travel to India in 2012.

Their New York City Observations

  • The lights!
  • Buildings
  • The people are so different
  • How much freedom you have here, as a woman especially
  • The subway performers! We saw trumpets, drums: I’ve never seen anything like that. We just watched and listened for a long time
  • Traffic and the signals. Everyone follows the rules
  • Personal space, and how much of it you get here on the street, in the subway, etc compared to India
  • The skyscrapers are nicely preserved
  • Good museums (yay!)

I love asking this question to visitors. The answers help me to see the city with a fresh set of eyes.


Between bites of cookies, I asked a few of my friends to go on the record about the event.

Taylor Pearson:

“The cookies are really good. The crowd is really good. And the cause is really good.”

Michael Roderick:

“There are few people I’ve met in my life that bring together the kind of people that Sol does.”

Jason Van Orden:

“Cookies plus brilliant people plus a cause that benefits education for more women. This is one of the best things I’ve attended all year.”

Helene Godin, proprietor of By The Way Bakery:

“In an evening of overwhelming sweetness, there was nothing better than the women’s testimonials.”

Sol presents Tammy with a $25,000 check for She’s the First

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Related: Check out my recommendation for a healthy breakfast.

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