Cookies on a Plane

The boll weevils were tearing up crops in the south, and a couple of guys in Louisiana who worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture were fed up with their destruction. What if, they wondered, they attacked the pests by dropping insecticide from the air?

In a perfect example of American ingenuity, our proud history of working men and women finding answers to problems, the inventive crop-saving solution gave birth to the first aerial crop-dusting company: Huff-Daland Dusters Incorporated, which was formed in Macon, Georgia, that very year, 1924.

While the twenties were roaring with flappers a-flappin’, farmers caught wind of the new idea, and within a year, Huff-Daland became the largest privately owned fleet in the world, with eighteen airplanes.

One of those two guys from the Department of Agriculture, Collett E. Woolman, helped the company grow, securing contracts for crop dusting and passenger service. The company had relocated its headquarters to Collett’s hometown of Monroe, Louisiana, and as a result of his hard work and dedication, soon he could buy Huff-Daland.

But as Collett knew, fields have boll weevils, and roses have thorns. Thanks to that pesky airmail scandal involving the government (a shock, we know), the airline he built from the ground up didn’t win the mail route contract they had hoped for in 1930, causing them to suspend the passenger service they had started.

Four years later, after some government house cleaning, the little airline that could was awarded the contract for Route 33, Dallas to Charleston, by way of Atlanta.

Halfway through that four-year battle for survival, which nearly put the company out of business, halfway around the world, in Belgium, the Boone brothers opened a bakery, and this is where the story gets tasty.

The popularity of their cookie, er, their European biscuit, delivered to customers from a red truck, rose faster than a bucketful of yeast in a warm pan.

Wildly successful in their homeland, the Boone brothers’ caramelized biscuit was easily paired with coffee, eventually becoming the number one choice of Europeans, each year seeing greater demand for the treat than the last.

Fifty-two years after delivering the baked delights from their little red truck, the Boone brothers’ cookies flew into the United States, landing aboard the company that had once made its home in Monroe, Louisiana, in the Mississippi Delta—that pioneer crop duster that became Delta Air Lines.

If you ride on Delta today, you will be offered the Boone brothers’ specialty, Biscoff (biscuit and coffee) cookies, but you don’t have to take a flight to enjoy this delectable snack. Biscoff cookies and their spread made of the same ingredients are sold in many major retail stores throughout the country and online.

The recipe hasn’t changed since the beginning of the cookie. The company, Lotus Bakeries, is still in the same family and employs over twelve hundred people in Europe.

The cookies offered on Delta are about 50 percent larger and have the word DELTA impressed on one side. Lotus Bakeries says over one and a half billion Biscoff cookies have been sampled by happy, tired, excited, adventurous, grateful and, of course, hungry airline passengers.

We’ll put the coffee on.

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