By Linh Bui

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Many of us has a favorite Otterbein’s cookie. The Baltimore treat has been around for more than a century.

In 1881, the Otterbeins immigrated from Germany and opened a bakery near Fort McHenry. Their cookies quickly became a local favorite.

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“The story goes – at Christmas, they used to line up outside the bakery. You couldn’t make them fast enough,” says General Manager Ben Otterbein.

Five generations later, he continues the family business. In the 90’s, they closed the retail side and went wholesale. Their cookies are now also sold in parts of Virginia and Philadelphia. But they’re proud to be a hometown tradition.

“I get so many emails. People who say my grandmother always had you at Christmas. There’s always a bag of cookies on my mom’s counter when I get home. There’s something really special about that,” he says.

Otterbein’s sells more than a million bags of cookies a year. There are six flavors, but chocolate chip is the bestseller.

So will one of the oldest family businesses in Maryland stay that way?

“I just had a son. He’s one,” Otterbein says. “He can have it if he wants.”

Wouldn’t that be sweet?

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Linh Bui


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