Cookies by Catherine, started by Catherine Meurer ’24, delivers hand baked cookies around campus for the George School community to enjoy.
Catherine came to George School as a junior from a school in Singapore and is a day student living in Princeton, NJ with her family. While adjusting to life at George School, Catherine turned to baking to wind down after a busy day of school.
“I’ve always loved to bake since starting high school,” said Catherine. “It became my coping mechanism. I would come home, put on a TV show, and make cookies.”
It became commonplace for Catherine to come to school with a large container of cookies to share with her friends. She said, “I was always bringing the cookies to school with me because my family could not finish the mountain of cookies at my house alone.”
After her junior year, she began to think about turning her hobby into a business of her own.
During the second week of her senior year, she sat down with her mom and decided to take the leap. “That night, we sat down and made the logo, figured out some of the equipment I needed, and made my order form and posters,” Catherine explained. “That was the beginning of my business.”
Catherine collects orders from a Google form Monday-Friday and delivers them fresh on Monday to her customers. Customers can choose from a classic chocolate chip cookie and a specialty option that changes from week to week. They are sold in bags of three cookies for $4.00 or five cookies for $6.00. Her goal was to keep a reasonable price for students, while also making a profit after paying her mom back for ingredients.
“I didn’t want it to be too expensive because it’s really hard on high school students, but I feel like I offer a pretty good deal,” Catherine commented.
Early in the 2023-2024 school year, Catherine partnered with the Red Cross Club to fundraise for the Moroccan earthquake that occurred in September 2023. By coming together, they were able to raise money to make a difference, while providing cookies for everyone to enjoy.
“I’ve had teachers and students come up to me and compliment my cookies,” said Catherine. “It’s really nice to have that sort of recognition. Not only did they help with our fundraiser, but they also enjoyed the cookies and gave me valuable feedback for my business.”
Her newest addition to her business is the option for customers to order care packages that they can send to others with personalized notes. It is the perfect way to celebrate a birthday or accomplishment, or show someone you are thinking of them.
Through this initiative, Catherine has learned valuable lessons in running a business and connecting with her community.
“I definitely learned a lot about what it takes and how hard it is to have a successful business,” Catherine said. “I also taught myself how to calculate costs and profit and how to maintain a business when the amount of orders dips and rises week to week.”
“I also learned the power of community,” Catherine added. “At first, it was mostly my friends ordering, and now I get orders from people that I’ve never met before. Everyone in the community is really willing to support me in this, which is just amazing.”
Catherine is open to the possibility of continuing her business in college next year, and will treasure the experience of creating her own business from scratch here at George School. She looks forward to baking some fun holiday cookies in the upcoming months.
“It’s cool to be able to say that I have my own business, and have my own income that I can spend on something for myself.”