Home of 'Obama Cookie' hopes president wants seconds

Here’s hoping the president wants seconds.

Staff at the Moulin de Provence bakery in the ByWard Market are busy baking as many maple leaf cookies as they can in the hopes U.S. President Barack Obama will pop in during the Three Amigos summit.

It’s not an impossible dream.

The U.S. leader last visited the capital in February 2009, and surprised customers and staff alike when he dropped into the downtown bakery for a treat.

He chose the most Canadian thing in the store: a maple leaf shortbread cookie, painted red, with “Canada” iced in white.

Ever since, the cookies have been named for him. They’re a huge tourist trap: store manager Maxime Lemay said the large display gets photographed constantly.

And the store is littered with poster prints of the president’s visit.

“It’s not very often that the president of America is coming in a public store,” Mr.Lemay said. “He stopped by Parliament Hill to meet the prime minister, and he stopped here to have a cookie. It’s kind of special.”

This time around, if he drops in again, the bakery will be ready.

Mr.Lemay is designing a massive maple leaf cookie featuring the flags and faces of the three North American leaders for display on Wednesday.

Staff will also give away smaller shortbread cookies featuring Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Of course, there will be plenty of Obama cookies to give away, too.

Mr.Lemay hopes it will be hard for Obama to ignore the store if he’s nearby.

“He will see all the advertising that we do, and he will recognize the place,” Mr.Lemay said.

But Mr.Lemay has competition from another shop owner hoping to serve the most powerful man in the world.

Claudio Fracassi, the face behind The Soup Guy store in the World Exchange Plaza, missed out on meeting Obama in 2009, despite creating a beef chili soup in his name.

Mr.Obama reportedly loves chili, and on the night of the historic 2008 election Mr.Fracassi “was so elated and happy” that the former senator won he started concocting the special recipe right then.

“By 8 a.m. I had the soup ready,” Mr.Fracassi said.

It was an immediate hit, and a menu regular ever since.

This month it’s back full-time, and Mr.Fracassi hopes it’s enough to draw the president to his shop.

“He could have come here, or to the market,” Mr.Fracassi said. “Now, we’re hoping that he comes here.”

This article originally appeared on metronews.ca on June 28.