A new San Juan Island company launched with a splash and ribbon-cutting ceremony last week at the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor.
Whale Tale Cookies makes treats for kids with an educational twist. Each package of whale tail shaped cookies contains a trading card with an intriguing photo by a local photographer of an orca whale engaged in one of many sometimes-mysterious behaviors.
The card also features child-friendly words about the importance of the endangered population of whales and ocean stewardship.
The company's motto, "It's Crunch Time," is an example of the kind of play on words for which Whale Tale Cookies founder, Mike Martin is well known. A man with a passion, Martin knows the whales are becoming more and more endangered due to environmental impact by humans, and wants to do something about it.
"It's crunch time for the whales," Martin says.
His background as coach of children's sports teams is evident in the way Martin pulled together an impassioned team of whale lovers, who together possess the varied skills he needed to start his dream company.
"Do something you enjoy and it's not work," Martin said. "Do something you're passionate about and you'll succeed beyond you're wildest dreams. I wanted team-members who were not only passionate about their jobs, but passionate about making a difference in our world."
Rebecca Parks is Whale Tales' creative director and designer. Jason Leff and Cynthia Burke bring a combination of professional baking skills, Margie Patrick keeps the team on task, and Martin handles marketing.
Success isn't optional to Martin. Before the first batch of cookies was cool, Martin had orders from many local businesses.
As the ceremonial ribbon was cut by Town of Friday Harbor Administrator Duncan Wilson, the crowd, despite mouths full of cookies, sang out the company's motto: "It's Crunch Time!"
Watch for Whale Tale Cookies in the aisles of your favorite shop; 10 percent of profits will go to whale-related causes.