I’m frequently asked why I chose to start Meg’s Retro Cookies and how I got into baking, but I rarely share the full story, as it’s not one that can be easily summarized in two sentences. So for anyone interested…here it is!
Family Recipes + Nomadic Army Brat
“Home” is a concept I’ve always struggled with. (You can check out some of my former musings: Home and Heidelberg Closed, Anchors Away.) Although “home” has been elusive, I think my family’s cookies have provided me with some of the same meaning.
When I eat one, I’m immediately greeted with so many happy memories… four years old, standing on a stool in the kitchen with my mom, insisting that I “help” make cookies… conspiring with my cousins to sneak into the cookie jar without grandma hearing, but always getting caught… grandpa’s late night snacks… mixing all the cookie dough for my wedding… Maia, my mom, my aunt and my cousin working late into the night to bake my wedding cookies because I was too sick to do it myself…
These cookies have also comforted me in sad times. When I miss my family, just the act of baking makes me feel less alone. The night after Fatty died, I immediately made a giant batch of cookies – and I ate almost all of them. After a particularly difficult break up, I made the family cupcake recipe and invited friends to my house to share over a bottle of red wine.
The point is, throughout every phase of my life, these recipes have always played a huge role. They are part of who I am and they make me happy.
Bejeweled Blitz Team
Say what? Yes, you read that right.
For several years, I worked on an amazing team with some of the best people I know. One of our traditions was “Bejeweled Birthdays”. Essentially, that meant I hounded every member of the team to put their birthdays in a shared calendar along with their favorite dessert. I kept track of that calendar religiously and baked as many of those birthday desserts as I could. Occasionally, if the dessert was beyond my skill set, I would purchase the dessert – but I generally tried to do it myself.
For entertainment, my coworkers began requesting more difficult recipes, just to see if I could make them. Some just gave me a list of flavors without any mention of dessert type. I had such a blast! I learned how to make red velvet cheese cake, flan, creme brulee, etc. I even created a crazy recipe that I named “Mattcakes”: peanut butter cupcake filled with peanut butter, chocolate espresso icing, topped with an Oreo.
It was during this time that I began entertaining the idea of starting my own company…
(As an aside, after I did start Meg’s Retro Cookies, the Bejeweled Blitz team helped me develop my red velvet recipe by tirelessly trying all the versions and providing feedback. It’s one of my bestsellers.)
Maia & Izzy
A little over two years ago, I was deeply honored to throw Maia’s baby shower. It was absolutely the biggest event I’d ever hosted and I loved every minute of it. Not only was the whole process incredibly meaningful, but I also had a really wonderful time putting it all together and producing food for so many people.
Maia’s baby shower got me thinkin’…maybe I could actually make my cookies on a large scale…
My Own Boss
My husband’s family is very entrepreneurial and business savvy – and being around them has really inspired me to try my hand at my own company. I don’t think I would have had the courage, or even the notion, to start my own business had it not been for their example.
Now add in the fact that I’m a Montanan – which means I really don’t doing something unless it’s my own idea – and you can see why running my own thing so appealing for me.
And there you have it…
See what I mean? It’s not a quick story. But I kinda like it.
One Reply to “Eat My Cookies: An Origin Story”
Idea! Let’s write a book. Full of cookie-related short stories from our childhood.
I don’t think I realized how impactful those yummy little treats (I can still taste them now; which is remarkable as I have no imagination) were on the three (4…oops) of us, and indirectly on many, many more I’m sure.
Can’t wait to come help you sell those bitches in January.
(which leads me to my first story… I wonder if my affinity for sales came from learning to generate an explanation for grandma each time I was caught with my hand in the cookie jar…which was shamefully often. Ha! I’m surprised I haven’t yet said, “Uh…This one’s for Meg!” when overcoming an objection in a sales call.)
Love you cousin/sister. See you soon!