The story behind the delicious Top Shelf Cookies company in Boston begins with a little superstition and a lot of passion. Both superstition and passion are powerful forces, especially when combined. In fact, together, they spurred the launch of Heather Yunger's company, Top Shelf Cookies.
Heather Yunger has been a Boston Bruin’s fan ever since she can remember. Growing up in the Boston area, hockey is more than a sport, it's a part of the community and brings people together.
One year, Heather, who loves to bake, created a Black and Gold cookie to root on the Bruins. She started with one batch and brought it to the local bar and her friends and fellow Bruins fans loved her new recipe. Not only did the recipe receive great reviews, but the Bruins won and a tradition, or superstition began.
Heather began bringing her black and gold cookies to the bar for each Bruins hockey game. She brought bigger and bigger batches, and soon everyone was asking for her cookies . More importantly, the Bruins kept winning! This was the year that the Bruins went all the way and ended up winning the Stanley Cup.
One night, while watching the game, it hit Heather that this is what she wanted to do. Baking cookies and seeing the affect it had on those around her was something that made her happy and feel purpose. She loved seeing the affect that delicious cookies have on people. With her friends encouragement, Heather decided to take the leap and quit her job to pursue a cookie company.
Top Shelf Cookies has been around since 2014 and now has over six original flavors, including the Black & Gold, plus innovative flavors like Pink Lemonade. They operate out of the Common Wealth Kitchen facility in Dorchester.
“The Common Wealth Kitchen is part of a larger project with HUD, to provide a pathway to entrepreneurship and employment.,” Yunger explains. "The building houses 40 startup food businesses in it’s shared space.”
Top Shelf Cookies works among other food start-ups who share more than just the facility, but also ideas, encouragement and advice. They foster a community of support and help each other with connections to help further grow their small business.
“Common Wealth Kitchen also runs a contract kitchen, where they do contract work for many Boston food businesses and help the entrepreneurs like myself accelerate their businesses,” Yunger says.
For example, the kitchen helps produce Top Shelf Cookie’s six main flavors for whole sale so that Heather and her small team can focus on sales, marketing and developing new products and flavors.
Top Shelf Cookies continues to expand. With the installment of a dough-scooper in the Common Wealth Kitchen, they’ll be able to make delicious cookies at an even faster rate. You can find them online or at farmers markets throughout Boston this summer.
Even though it’s been a process taking a cookie tradition and turning it into a full-time job, Yunger remains energetic, optimistic and most importantly, enthusiastic. She’s living proof that one idea can be turned into reality with hard work.