Tucked away in an inconspicuous building in a Steel Valley suburb, southeast of Pittsburgh, there lies the Nancy B’s Bakery. Inside, Nancy Bertram and her son, Michael Runco, bake cookies that can, just for a moment, melt the world’s trouble away in peanut butter, dough, and chocolate pleasure.
“Some of the best cookies that are just out of this world! … It was so gooey and rich it deserves an award in itself!” Yelp reviewers marvel.
One day, a man walked into the shop. He said he was an Army veteran. Years ago, in 1990, his parents requested Nancy B’s to send him some cookies when he was stationed in Iraq. Now, he traveled from Michigan to Pennsylvania to say thank you.
Runco was very touched. “I couldn’t get over the fact that he drove… from there to here just to say ‘thank you,’” he told Fox News.
Since then, the bakery puts some cookies aside every year and sends them to troops overseas. Anybody can come in or even call in and make a request to have cookies sent to their friend or a loved one serving the country.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for the boys over there,” Bertram said. “You would think you’re giving them a million dollars and it’s just cookies.”
Their cookies have since found their way to Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries.
About five dozen cookies fit into a box and this year, Bertram and Runco plan to send out 2,400 cookies, over three times more than in 2017.
Each box costs $25-$35 to send and customers are now pitching in enough to cover the shipping.
“People come in and put money in a tip jar,” Bertram said.
It can take the cookies three weeks to reach Afghanistan, but Bertram said they stay fresh for up to six weeks.
“Afghanistan seems so far and everything but it came out really good,” she said.
The bakery is ready for more requests this year.
“You gotta do something good, you know,” Bertram said.