The history of Berger Cookies began in 1835, when German immigrant Henry Berger arrived in the United States. A baker by trade, Henry came to The Land of Opportunity to follow his dreams, and soon opened a bakery in East Baltimore. In time Henry had three sons, George, Henry and Otto. Years later, young Henry took over his father’s bakery, while brothers Otto and George began their own.
In the late 1800’s “open air” markets dominated the way folks shopped. They could purchase all their food needs in one general area. Each vendor had their own little shop, or as they were known then, stall. It is believed that each brother maintained a stall in one of about five markets throughout the city.
Around the turn of the century Otto died and George and Henry combined the three bakeries, thus forming “Bergers”. As the automobile became more of a way of travel, Bergers expanded to the other markets. Sadly, Henry soon passed away and that left George as the sole proprietor of the bakery.
George had a young man by the name of Charles E. Russell in his employ, and when George was ready to retire he sold the bakery to Mr. Russell. The bakery flourished under the care of Mr. Russell.
When Mr. Russell retired, his son, Charles Jr., took control of the operation. The bakery continued to thrive, even through The Great Depression and both World Wars. Charles Jr., along with his two sons, Charles III and Dennis, worked together in the business. He also had two brothers working for him by the name of Charles and Benjamin DeBaufre. Mr. Russell retired in 1967, turning over control of the bakery to his sons, while the DeBaufre brothers branched out on their own, creating DeBaufre Bakeries, Inc.
The first two years were a struggle, yet in 1969 DeBaufre Bakeries had become profitable enough to purchase Bergers from the Russell brothers. In 1978 Charles DeBaufre’s son, Charles, Jr., purchased a portion of the bakery. In 1988, Charles, Sr., passed away, leaving Benjamin and Charles, Jr. along with business associate John Koehler, in control of the company, until 1994, when Charles, Jr. became the sole proprietor of Berger Cookies. Charles Jr. is still running the business today.
From its modest roots Bergers has continued to prosper, and has grown into one of the most recognized –and beloved- cookie companies in the Mid Atlantic region. We still maintain the same basic 1800’s recipes, and same commitment to produce a quality product… one that our loyal customers can continue to enjoy, while new customers discover what all the fuss is about.