Labor Day Profile: From Nurse to Baker
Find out how one Springfield entrepreneur transformed a passion for cookies into a profitable business.
Diane Marinelli has lived in the Philadelphia area her entire life and has been a Springfield resident for 34 years.
Marinelli had a passion for baking from childhood, but was encouraged by her mother to attend Temple University for nursing.
Following A Dream
Marinelli became a nurse, but her love of baking never faded. Later she became a stay-at-home mother and enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen and testing out new cookie creations on family and friends. With the dream of one day having her own business, Marinelli decided to keep her recipes a secret.
From Dream to Reality
12 years ago, Marinelli opened Cookies By Diane on Ballymore Road in Springfield. Her cookies instantly became a success, garnering her local and national recognition. Her signature cookie, peanut butter mousse, won Best of Philly from Philadelphia Magazine for Best Cookie in 2009.
Roker On The Road
In 2004, Marinelli was chosen by The Food Network to be featured on Roker on the Road in a segment called "Cookie Masters". Al Roker came to Springfield to film the segment with Marinelli as she worked her baking magic.
"It was really a great experience," said Marinelli. "Al Roker was only at my bakery for less than an hour, but the film crew was there for 10 hours."
Lots of Hats
As the sole proprietor of Cookies By Diane, Marinelli wears lots of hats. In addition to baking the cookies and developing new recipes she also handles packaging, marketing her brand, and writing web content.
A typical day for Marinelli begins at 6 a.m.
"I love to work early in the morning," said Marinelli. "It is quiet and cool and I am also at my most creative."
Community Cookie Collaborations
In the past, Marinelli has taught baking classes at local community centers. Currently she is working to collaborate with a local senior community, Plush Mills, to offer hands-on cookie baking classes for residents. The classes will offer residents humor, knowledge, and improved dexterity.
For more information about Cookies By Diane and a complete list of her gourmet cookie varieties, visit her website.
204 Ballymore Rd
Springfield, PA 19064
Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.