Drumm Grady finds recipe for job
satisfaction at the Cooperstown Cookie Company
by Eric J. Hurwitz
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) -- The Cooperstown Cookie Company, in Cooperstown,
NY, is not your typical cookie-cutter business.
Bringing together the love of two American obsessions -- cookies and
baseball-- the Internet-based Cooperstown Cookie Company has become a
story not only for its variety of delicious baseball-themed cookies,
but for its commitment to helping people with
Pati Drumm Grady, 57, and a long-time Cooperstown, NY, resident, started the
from "scratch" in 2004 baking cookies out of her home in Springfield
Center, NY. Using a family recipe, Grady launched the Cooperstown
Cookie Company also in 2004 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and
Museum World Series Gala offering the "all-American" all-natural
classic baseball shortbread cookies to the delight of local residents
The Cooperstown Cookie Company comes after years of Grady
working in many parts of the world. She has lived in Cooperstown twice,
first as a graduate student at the Cooperstown Graduate Program in 1973
and as a staff photographer and a member of the New York State
Historical Association Education Department from 1974-1976. After
living in Vienna, Brussels and Belgium for seven years, Grady returned
as a single parent with three children in 1992. She met her husband,
Kevin, a fourth generation Cooperstown native in 1993. They married in
1996 and, together, have five children. Kevin is the founder and
co-owner of the Doubleday Cafe.
years, but the thought of creating a baseball cookie in a community
famous for baseball seemed like a potentially special business,
"I did not really think too long or hard about starting this business,
"said Grady. "One day it occurred to me that no one had (from
Cooperstown or anywhere) ever made a baseball cookie and, so, I pursued
the idea further. After approximately six to eight months
planning, researching and consulting with industry experts, I decided
to move forward to 'put legs onto the idea'."
"I woke up a lot during the night thinking a lot of how to start a
business with baseball cookies. Since we are in Cooperstown, the
business was a natural."
The question was, "how to make a baseball cookie," since Grady could
not find a baseball cookie cutter.
"The first baseball cookies were made in my kitchen using a glass to
cut a round circle in rolled out shortbread dough," said
"I then used a pastry crimper to draw 2 inverted "C" shapes in the
dough. The baseball cookie was officially
then approached a local tinsmith to create a prototype hand
cutter. That evolved into a multiple hand cutter which is
used to hand make every cookie."
The cookies come in four flavors: Classic Shortbread, Boys of Summer
Lemon Shortbread, Mudville Mudball Chocolate Chip Shortbread, and All
Shortbread; and two sizes: Regulation Baseball Size or bite-sized
"Bunts." The Cooperstown Cookie Company also features Amish-made milk
and white chocolate baseball caps.
Local support has been tremendous as the National Baseball Hall of
Fame, Doubleday Cafe, Stagecoach Coffee, Brewery Omegang, Straws and
Sweets, the Cooperstown General Store and Cooperstown Natural Foods
sell the baseball cookies. On an international level, the New York
Times, Sporting News, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Town
Country and Japan Times have featured the Cooperstown Cookie
Company. Last summer, the cookies were featured on the Food
Network's popular program, "Unwrapped" and as the "Snack of the Day" on
the Rachael Ray Show.
"We've put our heart and soul into this (business)," said Grady. "The
recognition has been very nice."
Pathfinder Village, a residential community in Edmeston, NY, dedicated
to adults and children with Downs Syndrome, assists with production by
developing,, bagging and packaging the cookie mix. The Cooperstown
Cookie Company shares a portion of its profits with Pathfinder Village.
Human Technologies Corporation
(HTC), of Utica, NY, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing
the lives of those with disabilities and other disorders, packs the
cookie tins and fills all orders.
"We have great relationships with Pathfinder and Human Technologies,"
said Grady. "It feels great to reach out to the community. It's not
just about baking cookies."
Grady, who runs the company out of her barn overlooking beautiful Lake
Otsego, has some terrific support, in addition to Pathfinder and HTC.
DeIorio's Frozen Food Products,Bakery, a bakery in Utica, NY, went
beyond its Italian pizza dough specialization by producing the baseball
cookies at a faster pace. This was essential as Grady-- previous to
having DeIorio's come on board -- had to turn down the New York Yankees
requesting 19,000 cookies for a Mother's Day promotion. Happily, the
enhanced production capabilities were able to accommodate the Yankees
next request for 2,400 cookie favors for a season's opener dinner.
Grady has tapped into a network of extremely talented local
professionals to enhance the business. Key alliances to the Cooperstown
Cookie Company include Shelly Freyn, who has a food science degree from
Cornell University and 15 years food science work experience, including
Mrs. Field's; Lonni Sue Johnson, an award winning illustrator
(including five New
covers), pilot and a local organic dairy farmer whose art talents have
helped create a colorful business image; David Depperman, a food
scientist, entrepreneur and the former regional director of the the
Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) arm of the Small Business
Administration: and Peg Odell who works on marketing and public
Gozigian and Kim Lierheimer provide integral sales, customer service
and order processing "back office" roles in the business.
Grady concludes that she loves her current profession -- the art and
science of baking and, ultimately, creating a business that brings
"I'm proud of this small business that seems to be growing every day."
the lowest prices on Cooperstown hotels by searching all major
travel sites at once from your home computer or mobile phone.
Empire State Carousel at The
are paying tourists that have no vested interested in Cooperstown.
Therefore, we can pass along to you, without any conflict of interest,
our favorite people, places and things in this special New York State