Mariella "Gracie" Volker was raised in Lancaster County. She grew up in the city above her parents' ice cream parlor and sandwich shop, watching her parents feed the neighborhood and sneaking ice cream cones when mom wasn't looking. When she wasn't running around the ice cream parlor, she was running around the fields of Leola at her aunt and uncle's house trying to keep up with her older cousins. Many a summer's day was spent in this very community. She also spent a lot of time learning to bake from her mom, especially at Christmas time when cookie making took over the kitchen. Dozens and dozens of cookies went out each year to every family member, friend, and teacher. Gracie graduated from Westminster College in 2008 with a degree in history, but somehow found her way back into the cookie making world not long after. She managed a small cafe and bakery in Strasburg PA for 3 years before opening Gracie's on West Main.