Cookies With a Cause

College students give back through sweet innovation


Editor's note: Since this story was reported and published, The Waffle Cookie has seen a lot of progress on their growing business. For the latest updates, go to their website or check them out on Instagram @thewafflecookie

When high school friends Miranda Scott and Serena Bian reunited for the summer after their freshman year of college, they cooked up an idea to combine their love of breakfast food and sweets with their passion for social change. The result was a treat that looks like a waffle, but tastes like a cookie. 

Scott and Bian then fired up their waffle irons, partnered with two local retailers, and amassed 10,000 Instagram followers — not bad for a summer’s work. 

The Waffle Cookie comes in six different flavors: chocolate chip, double chocolate, sugar, s’mores, white chocolate macadamia nut, and lemon (their most popular flavor).

Right now, in addition to classes and college life, the goal is to find a way for The Waffle Cookie to give back to the community in a sustainable way. They donated their first summer’s profits of $300 to The Empowerment Plan, a nonprofit working to improve the lives of women in Detroit.  

Based on their sales for the year, they’re exploring new charitable models. “We want to continue focusing on innovative social progress, like hiring under-employed people or creating some type of one-for-one system,” says Bian, a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania.

Both are also working to bring The Waffle Cookie concept to their respective college campuses to support local causes. 

After running the show all summer, Scott and Bian have begun to expand The Waffle Cookie family at home. They’ve hired two high school students from Cranbrook Schools, their alma mater, to oversee day-to-day baking and delivery operations. They also partnered with a Detroit baker and Wayne State University student. 

While it’s hard to turn down a delicious cookie, Scott, a sophomore at Colgate University, says The Waffle Cookie is quickly becoming more than sweet treats. The duo plans to continue innovating and experimenting with flavors, and they hope their entrepreneurial and philanthropic spirit will also inspire others to join their mission to make an impact on Detroit. 

—Stephanie Shenouda

Find The Waffle Cookies at Gayle’s Chocolate in Royal Oak and Eli Tea Bar in Birmingham. Follow them on Instagram @TheWaffleCookie or

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

New Japanese-Inspired Restaurant Comes to Birmingham

Adachi opens this week in Birmingham

Shared Plates: August 2018 Winner

Recipe: Frozen Rose Popsicles

Cocktail Recipe: Tournesol

Food Recipe: Ginger Barbeque Glaze

Beverly Hills Grill’s Ryan Zagor’s all-purpose barbeque helper

7 Places to Get an Acai Bowl in Metro Detroit

Your guide for the Instagram-worthy dish
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Review: Testa Barra Wows with Contemporary Dishes
    The Macomb Township restaurant serves Italian fare that is on par with the surging Detroit food...
  2. Michigan-Made, Mother Nature-Approved Tools for Your Kitchen
    Ditch disposables and opt for reusable products
  3. Exploring Metro Detroit’s Tiki Trend
    Mutiny Bar and Lost River serve up island vacations with every drink
  4. A Deeper Look into the Racial and Ethnic Tensions Dividing Metro Detroit
    From the city to the suburbs, existing segregation could be hindering the region’s progress
  5. Every Day is Throwback Thursday at This Roseville Steakhouse
    Mr. Paul's Chophouse has remained consistently delicious for more than 50 years
  6. A Look at the Inexplicable Exclusion of Detroit Tigers’ Lou Whitaker from the Baseball Hall of Fame
    Writer Michael Betzhold investigates the Major League slip-up
  7. 3 Eateries that Focus on People, Profit, and the Planet
    These triple bottom line businesses are part of Detroit’s FoodLab organization
  8. Q&A: Nancy Barr, Curator of Photography at the Detroit Institute of Arts
    Plus, information about the DIA’s upcoming exhibit, Lost & Found
  9. This Vegan Catering Company Celebrates the ‘Natural Beauty of Food’
    Plus, tips on how to create your own photo-worthy grazing board
  10. Meet the Makers: Salt Textile Studios
    This textile maker wants her creations to be unique to ‘here’