Friday, March 8th is International Women’s Day. In our area, we have countless inspirational stories of women who are making a difference.
Two of those women are entrepreneurs Theresa Kacmarik and Maureen Madden, owners of the Cookie Cottage.
“You know how some people plan on, you know they want to start a business? We never wanted that. It wasn’t something that we wanted to do,” says Maureen.
Encouragement and a love for baking put sisters Maureen and Theresa in business. They also faced challenges being taken seriously as women entrepreneurs.
“Oh the stories we could tell,” says Maureen.
That includes funding to open the Cookie Cottage.
“We went to get a loan, nobody would give us a loan without our husbands signing. We wanted just us,” explains Maureen.
Someone gave the sisters a chance, but they still didn’t go without some hardships.
“We were not even a year in, we were like ready to quit. Like why are we doing this,” says Maureen.
Maureen and Theresa pushed through the adversity, and leaned on each other for support.
“It was just something we felt compelled to make it work. See what we can do. And we made a pact with each other, if the business ever come between us, we’d quit,” says Theresa.
Luckily it never has, and Fort Wayne gets to enjoy the 20 plus flavor of cookies in their new location on West Washington Center Road.
“Fort Wayne has supported us and been there for us ever since we started. It’s great. We have a phenomenal customer base,” says Maureen.
The sisters still have a hard time believing they’re a success story.
“I guess we know the bumps and things we still have overcome. I mean there’s always a challenge,” explains Theresa.
Despite their doubts, they will celebrate their accomplishment of being open for 30 years in September.
If you want to hear more inspiring stories about women in northeast Indiana, don’t forget to tune into our special, “Celebrating Women.”
Alyssa Ivanson and Sierra Tufts will bring you more stories of women making a difference right here in northeast Indiana.
“Celebrating Women” airs Saturday night at 7 p.m., only on WANE 15.