Debbi Fields realized early in life that a cheap substitute like margarine was never going to taste like high-quality butter. She expanded the idea that “good enough never is” for baking and turned her chocolate chip cookie recipe into a multi-million dollar business empire that operated with the same concern for high-quality ingredients and practices.
In the early 1980s, she built a European-style mansion to her high personal standards. This elegant home is located on a huge cattle ranch that spreads over two counties in northern Utah. When it was sold to chocolatier Jeannette Brooks in 2011, the original grandeur of the mansion was in need of attention so it was restored and enhanced using the original high standards of quality.
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The ranch is a working cattle ranch complete with buildings, ranch equipment, machinery, cattle, grazing permits, hunting rights, water and mineral rights, and a ranch manager willing to work for the new owner. This turn-key operation is currently listed at $25 million.
The opulent “Cookie Mansion” sits on 271 acres and has a mile of Provo River frontage. The grounds include a 24-stall barn, riding arena, hay barn, shop, and two ponds. There are 41,237 deeded acres with additional leased grazing acreage and water sources enabling a thousand-head herd of cattle to spread into four counties.
The main house has ten en-suite bedrooms within its 17,000 square feet and $1.5 million in decorator furnishings that reflect the European architecture of the building. Fields brought many items from Europe for her dream home, including a bar from Ireland and a stained glass window of Mary Magdalene from Scotland. That colorful window is in the first landing of the massive grand stairway in the entry hall.
The elaborate wooden staircase is flanked by enormous crystal chandeliers and offers a taste of the elegance within. There are 11 fireplaces scattered throughout the home. The great room has black walnut paneling and ceilings; other ceilings are coffered with copper and wood. A royal residence in England provided wood used in the formal dining room. The large chef’s kitchen is elegant enough to entertain guests in and practical enough to cook for a crowd. There is a wine cellar, billiards, and a sauna to relax in after a dusty day of riding.
The nearby town of Park City hosts Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival. You can also play a round of golf at the Glenwild Golf Club, sample craft whiskeys and vodkas at the High West Distillery and Saloon, or explore the historic Main Street to find one of its fine restaurants and shops.
Photo credit: Sotheby’s International Realty