Meryl Masterson’s thriving cookie business featured in ESPN The Magazine
When Meryl Masterson, the wife of Indians pitcher Justin Masterson, started baking cookies for his team at Bethel College, she probably never expected it to be the beginning of a thriving business and charitable operation. However, in Justin’s rookie season with the Boston Red Sox, word of Meryl’s baking skills spread quickly through the organization, and demand for the cookies became so high that she launched her own company and an accompanying website, Merylscookies.com.
When the Mastersons moved to Cleveland, Meryl brought her fledgling baking operation with her, and the company has continued to grow since. This week, the business received national attention as it was featured in this week’s issue of ESPN The Magazine.
TribeVibe chatted with Meryl after her interview for the magazine to get the full story behind her cookie business…
TribeVibe: How did you get started with your cookie business?
Meryl Masterson: I started baking cookies for Justin’s minor league teams and in college with his sister, and when he made his Major League debut with Boston our host-dad was like: ‘you gotta bring them cookies. You gotta bring the Red Sox cookies.’ I said absolutely not, but then I did it, and I brought some up to Don [Orsillo] and Jerry [Remy] – the NESN announcers – and they talked about them on the air the entire game.
People were calling in and asking how to order them, and I went to Justin and told him that we’ve got to get this company registered, and a website, and stuff like that. He helped me do my website, and I’ve got online orders, and I have decided within the last few months that I really want to make an impact in the lives of children and the hungry, so I’m donating 100% of the profits to charity.
TV: What is the website for your business?
MM: Merylscookies.com and anyone can order. I’ve sent them to Afghanistan, everywhere. It’s been really fun to see where the orders come in from.
TV: How many kinds of cookies do you make?
MM: There are 14 different kinds, and then I’m always open to suggestions. Tony Sipp has invented the cookie and now it’s called the Triple Play Toffee.
TV: Has your recipe evolved over time?
MM: I was just telling Justin the other night: I really understand that saying “Practice Makes Perfect” because I really feel like I can finally know what the cookies are going to look like every time. And they are homemade so they’re going to look a little different in each batch, but I feel like I’ve gotten the original recipes and I’ve perfected them over time.
TV: How many do you bake in an average week?
MM: I would say I bake at least 40-dozen just myself, and we’re trying to get a bakery going up in Indy, and I have volunteers – my two best friends from home, Cory and Jenny – and we hired my friend Matt to run the business, because he [Justin] has a full-time job and I don’t know business stuff, so we hired [my friends] to do that part of it.
TV: Is there a specific charity that your business benefits?
MM: Yes, it’s MissionofMercy.com, and we go to the Dominican Republic every December and we work with a village there. We are just so in love with the kids, and they are so needy, and hungry, and poor…my heart is in Haiti and the Dominican, and the U.S. and Africa. I mean I’m not just called to one spot. I just know I’m called to help and I can help with my own little hobby, and I’m going to help wherever I can, and see what I can do. But we try to sponsor as many kids as we can in the Dominican.
TV: How did the ESPN The Magazine photo-shoot and story come about?
MM: My friends Crystal Durbin and Chad Durbin, they used to play here and now they’re with the Braves, but she was friends with Stacey [Pressman] – the lady who asked to do this. She was actually just inquiring about a poll, like a starting pitchers wives poll. And in there I said ‘Yes, I do a cookie business’, and she thought that would be pretty neat to feature on this page. It honestly was about two weeks ago maybe, and she flew all the way here to do it.
The story appears in the October 15 issue of ESPN The Magazine; available now. For more information on the cookie business, visit http://www.MerylsCookies.com
– TribeVibe Contributor Max Lom