Marvin Wayne's Dr. Cookies Are High in Fiber, Low in Cholesterol and Dear to His Accountant's Heart

updated 04/11/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/11/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Plenty of people become doctors to make a lot of dough. Marvin Wayne, 44, did it the other way round. A lower-middle-class kid from Detroit, he worked in an Ann Arbor bakery to help pay his way through the University of Michigan, first as an undergrad and later in med school. There, and everywhere else his busy medical career has taken him since, the self-diagnosed cookieholic sought out kitchens to advance his obsessive search for "the ultimate cookie"—one as good for you as it is good-tasting. Today that seemingly quixotic quest is paying off.

While clearly no cure for what ails you, the cookies baked by Wayne's Dr. Cookie, Inc. are more nutritious than most other cookies on the market. Wayne substitutes corn-oil margarine for butter and brown sugar for white and reduces egg content to½0 of an egg per cookie. Dr. Wayne's delights, which come in six varieties—such as chocolate chip or walnut and raisin—are low in salt and cholesterol, high in fiber and contain no preservatives.

Priced at a heart-stopping $12.95, plus shipping, for 28 cookies, Dr. Cookie's confections are available (without prescription) only by mail and promise to pay delicious dividends to the energetic emergency-medicine physician from Bellingham, Wash., and his partner, cardiologist Stephen Yarnall, 54. Started three years ago with $500,000, Dr. Cookie, Inc. has relied primarily on word-of-mouth advertising. Now, with 12 full-time employees, a 100,000-cookie-a-week output and a $3.6 million contract with United Airlines, the company is watching sales take off.

The Dr. Cookie philosophy is "You can modify your life-style without destroying your life-style." Wayne's own life-style changed drastically in college when his father died of a heart attack at 47, and a checkup revealed that his then pudgy premed son also had a high-cholesterol tendency. Wayne promptly swore off red meat, started exercising and began tinkering with his favorite cookie recipes. Even now, though, his missionary work has its critics. His wife, Joan, 39, loves his cookies, but their daughters, Michelle, 12, and Dana, 10, won't touch them. Complains Michelle: "They're too healthy."

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