Mojo Rising

Signature cookies from the DePete family and River Oaks.

The Memphis sweets market is thriving, and one of the newer treats on the scene comes from MoJo Cookies: a monstrous six-ounce cookie with dark chocolate and walnuts.

Jolene DePete and her mother Colleen run their growing cookie business out of River Oaks restaurant, where Colleen is general manager and wife of head chef José Gutierrez. The mother-and-daughter pair began MoJo Cookies after Jolene’s brother passed away in 2006. Joseph “JoJo” DePete was only 26 years old.

“We used to bake cookies with him all the time, so that was the start of the project,” Jolene DePete says. “And my little brother used to say ‘Enjoy yo-self’ all the time, so that’s kind of our slogan.”

The DePetes have perfected their recipe for their signature cookie (dark chocolate chip walnut) and oatmeal raisin walnut, and new flavors are offered depending on the availability of ingredients. Among the cookies that have made an appearance are Italian Christmas pignoli, oatmeal chocolate, and snickerdoodles.

“We’re really particular about our ingredients,” Jolene says. “We’re big on using everything organic, and we’ve been ordering the chocolate through River Oaks — this Callebaut dark Belgian chocolate, which is just the most incredible chocolate you could use for baking.”

Colleen and Jolene DePete

MoJo cookies are baked fresh daily and available to order from River Oaks’ dessert menu served with homemade ice cream or to go.

River Oaks and MoJo also recently became members of Memphis’ Project Green Fork, a certification process where restaurants commit to sustainable practice standards related to their disposable products, composting, cleaning products, energy and water consumption, and pollution prevention.

Orders and special requests can be made by email at or by calling River Oaks at 683-9305. You can also check them out at or

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