During Susan Stachler's cancer battle, it was her mom's homemade gingersnaps that soothed nausea and sparked smiles.

Advertisement
Susan and Laura Stachler of Susansnaps
Susan and Laura Stachler
| Credit: Jenica Rogers

"No one in their right mind would set out to start a gingersnap company,” says Susan Stachler. But 16 years ago, while she battled Hodgkin lymphoma (and her father simultaneously underwent treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma), her mother, Laura, learned all about the stomach-soothing benefits of ginger. A dessert caterer by trade, Laura started baking gingersnaps for Susan, who then shared them with her fellow cancer patients. “There’s just something about cookies that brings a smile to your face,” says Susan. “Anything homemade from Mom makes you feel a little bit better.”

What started as their personal initiative to curb chemo-induced nausea and spread some good cheer eventually gave way to Susansnaps, a bakery that ships gingersnaps all over the country. And these bite-size snacks do more than soothe upset stomachs. “It’s hard to know what to say or do [for loved ones with cancer],” says Susan. “And we felt like this cookie, this product, was a really nice way for people on the outside to say ‘I’m thinking of you’ to their family or friends.”

The pair also wrote a book sharing their experience, The Cookie Cure: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of Cookies and Cancer, and they donate their treats to several local cancer centers and hospitals. As for working together, well, that’s the icing on the cake. “We have the best time,” says Susan. Laura agrees. “When you’ve gone through the depths of despair, shipping cookies across the country puts it all in perspective,” she notes. “We work very, very hard at what we do, but as Susan says, ‘It’s a cookie, Mom. Just keep going.’ ”