After graduating from Bishop Kearney in 1987, Maria attended Kingsborough Community College, majoring in Travel and Tourism. She worked for more than ten years as a senior consultant for Carlson Wagonlit Travel, while working weekends and holidays with her husband, James, at their bakery, The Cakechef. In 2007, Maria decided to expand her husband's business and together they opened The CookieJar. She started the new business by implementing delivery and a web site, offering shipping nationwide of her husband's delicious cookies. She proved that she had a winning recipe and the business grew to be a huge success. Continuing with her husband and their entrepreneurial teamwork, they decided to open their third shop in 2012, called Piece-A-Cake, a cafe offering breakfast and lunch, as well as desserts and a full coffee bar. It has been so successful that they will be expanding into an available space next door which will provide a second CookieJar and an extension of the dining area next door. Kearney alums are always welcome.