Joana Fischer, owner of Twisted Cookie in Forest Park, films a segment for WGN News on Saturday, Aug. 14. (Photo by Melissa Elsmo)

WGN News paid Twisted Cookie, 7401 Madison St., an early morning visit on Aug. 14. The 4-plus year old business, known for peddling signature cookie pies, chocolate-dipped marshmallow brownies, and elaborate ice cream sundaes, was a veritable who’s-who during the early morning filming.

Mayor Rory Hoskins was seen enjoying an ice cream cone during filming and a crew from the Forest Park Fire Department parked their hook and ladder truck outside before popping in for coffee and conversation. Susie Goldschmidt, Oak Park and River Forest Market President for Byline Bank, brought her mother into the shop in honor of her 91st birthday while Laurie Kokenes, executive director of the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce, basked in the positive attention news coverage brings to the local business community.

“We’re thrilled that WGN Weekend News was here in Forest Park again highlighting yet another of our ‘maker’ businesses,” said Kokenes. “We’re a community of artists and makers, and Twisted Cookie’s sweet treats are a work of art.”

The opportunity for Twisted Cookie to appear on the weekend segment of WGN news came as a result of a chance meeting on Madison Street. Joana Fischer, owner of Twisted Cookie, stooped to pet a puppy outside her shop and started a conversation with the dog’s owner.

“I am an animal lover, so I offered her dog some ice cream and we went into the shop,” said Fisher.  “She liked the shop and during the conversation I learned she was a producer for the show. One thing led to another, and she pitched having a live segment here.”

Though this was a first experience on live television, Fischer took her moment in the spotlight in stride.

“I loved the energy of the day,” said Fischer. “It was easy because I had so many friends here. Everyone wanted me to do well so that took off some of the pressure.”

Twisted Cookie saw an immediate influx of businesses just after the show aired. After a hectic morning of filming, Fischer thought she might be able to relax for the rest of the day. She had even swapped out her dress shoes for flip flops in hopes of taking it easy, but business was so swift that she and her team were “slammed for the rest of the day.”

“I give my staff so much credit,” said Fischer. “They came in early even though many of them were supposed to have the day off. I was thrilled they could add to the excitement of the day.”

Fisher is immensely grateful for the opportunity to appear on the WGN segment hosted by Brónagh Tumulty and considers the experience to be a learning opportunity. She is excited at the prospect more people may have learned about Twisted Cookie and hopes the television coverage also encouraged people to explore all the businesses on Madison Street.

“I wanted this experience to be a celebration of Forest Park,” said Fischer. “As local business owners we all support each other and want each other to do well. When one of us succeeds, all of us succeed.”