I was recently invited to Baltimore, MD for a Women's Business Enterprise Network [WBENC] Summit and Salute, of which Ernst & Young was a sponsor. I had the great pleasure of personally meeting representatives from our nation’s top corporations who purchase from Women-Owned corporations as part of their corporate sustainability/diversity programs.
As with any place I travel to for the first time, taking in all the local favorites is a must!
I attended a crab feed at Phillips Seafood with a large group from Ernst & Young (delish!) and was introduced to Berger Cookies by Gil Genn, our Government relations partner. In fact, Gil purchased enough Berger cookies for everyone at Earth-Kind to enjoy! (it made me realize I needed to ‘UP’ my leadership game and send more gifts like this from our wonderful state of ND!) He gave us so many cookies, I had to remove all the shoes from my suitcase (and put them in my briefcase) to ship the cookies back in perfect form!
Everyone loved the fudgy taste, and the fact that Gil shared a local favorite with us.
The Berger Cookie recipe was brought to America from Germany by George and Henry Berger in 1835. Henry owned a bakery in East Baltimore which was later run by his son Henry. While the younger Henry took over his father's bakery, his two brothers, George and Otto, opened their own bakeries. Around 1900 Otto died, then George and Henry combined the bakeries to create 'Bergers'. As technology grew so did the bakery. Eventually Henry died, leaving George as the sole proprietor of the bakery.
When George retired he sold the bakery and the recipe to Charles E. Russell. Charles' son, Charles Jr., took control upon his father's retirement. Charles Jr. and his sons, Charles III and Dennis, ran the business through the Depression. They employed two brothers, Charles and Benjamin DeBaufre. When Charles Jr. retired, he left the bakery to Charles III and Dennis. Meanwhile the DeBaufre brothers left the business to start DeBaufre Bakeries Inc.
The Berger cookie is well-known for its thick chocolate frosting layered on top of a shortbread cookie. The recipe has won several awards around the Baltimore area including the 2011 "Best of Baltimore Award" and the "Best Cookie" award in 2011. The product has also been featured in The Baltimore Sun, The View, and on Rachel Ray and The Best Thing I Ever Ate on the Food Network.