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

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