Berger Cookies closed for operating without a license
3:14 PM, Feb 22, 2013
5:42 AM, Feb 28, 2013
A Baltimore icon has gone missing -- no we're not talking about Ray Lewis or John Waters.
The area's supply of Berger's cookies has been depleted.
Tom Rykaczewski's been looking for them in the Quick Mart in Dundalk..
"I give them to my kids they just devour the chocolate," he said. "I get them here I get them everywhere. I usually come here because I live on the next street; so I just come down here and get them."
Every Berger's cookie is made in a small factory in Cherry Hill – 2500 cookies a day.
We shot video of the cookie plant in back in 2011, after production was getting back up to speed. Wind and rain from Hurricane Irene had ruined all the boxes they use to ship the cookies.
Owner Charles DeBaufre told us the secret of why they've been so popular..
"They're made with love," he said at the time/
One of the places they wind up -- Graul's market in Ruxton.
"As long as I can remember we've been selling Berger Cookies," said owner Dennis Graul.
Each Graul's location sells several hundred packages a week; but this week, the shipments never arrived.
And so now the shelf that's normally filled with Berger's cookies is empty.
"People have definitely been inquiring; it's been a hot topic," Graul said. "I'm optimistic; you know they've been a long-standing Baltimore company and it's a great selling item for us. It would be a horrible case if they didn't continue to make the cookies."
That plant in Cherry Hill got a violation notice on January 31st, for operating without a license.
Berger's has been approved for a new license by the Baltimore City Health Department, but no one from the company has gone to pick it up -- and pay the $500 fee that goes with it.
The company's web site has a notice that claims a "family illness" is the reason for the delay and indicates production will resume soon. The following message, in dark red, was posted for all to see Friday:
"Online order processing is currently unavailable due to family illness. We will update the site and official Facebook page as production and ordering are back online to keep you informed. We appreciate your well wishes and patience during this time."
Berger Cookies began in 1835 when German immigrant Henry Berger arrived in the United States.
Berger opened a bakery in East Baltimore that was later managed by his sons.
After several business mergers, acquisitions and switching of hands, the company eventually became that of Charles DeBaufre Jr. in 1994.