INDIANAPOLIS — What's in a name?
Well, for Deyshawn Bond, it's a lot.
"When I played football in Cincinnati, a lot of my teammates called me 'Bondo,'" Bond, 27, told WRTV of his time at the University of Cincinnati.
The nickname Bond's college coaches and teammates chose for him has held such meaning for the Indianapolis native over the years that naming his new business "Bondo's Cookies" was a no-brainer.
The word bond — and in this case, the name — is more profound for the former NFL player.
"The biggest thing I miss about the game is bonding together with my teammates and being a team, a family," Bond emphasized. "So, Bondo kind of grew from them giving me that nickname, and I just kind of ran with it."
Bondo's Cookies formerly launched as a delivery and pickup-only business at the end of 2021, when Bond and his wife, Ashley, decided to take their cookie game to the next level.
The Random Cookie Experience
Bond says he started baking cookies from scratch in January 2020. He and his wife had a family event to attend, and he decided to contribute cookies—made-from-scratch cookies, at that.
The idea was nice, but his first batch...didn't turn out so well.
"The thought of just failing at baking, fired me up," Bond said, laughing.
The former Colts player said the random experience turned into a self-determined challenge.
He worked to perfect a chocolate chip cookie recipe for about three to four months. Then, when he felt like he had it down, he started bringing them to work for his co-workers.
"They were like, 'Hey, can we get more cookies? More cookies?' Every time I would come in," Bond said. "As I was able to grow the recipes, I started bringing them in at different times."
Bond gradually mastered seven cookie recipes for the next two years.
With the help of his wife, Bond branched out from only sharing with his co-workers and set up a cookie stand in his southeast side neighborhood late last summer.
"Now, I feel like I've kind of mastered my own recipes, and people love them," Bond said.
A Warren Central High School graduate, Bond said playing for the Indianapolis Colts was a childhood dream fulfilled.
"It was always pretty much trying to figure out how I can get as many tickets as I could for family and friends," Bond said. "Even if they weren't specifically a Colts fan, I knew they were a fan of me. So it just felt great to show people how much that I had achieved."
Bond's been out of the league for four years now and says he still feels the immense support of his family and friends in Indianapolis as he's launched his business.
When he opened up shop out of Indy's Kitchen in October, Bondo's Cookies was "hot," Bond said.
"Everybody was excited for me to launch because the neighborhood pretty much had the test run of trying them out for free," Bond said. "October through December, there were a lot of 'Cookies with Santa' events that were going on in December. It was definitely great to be a part of a lot of people's events."
One of Bondo's Cookies' core missions goes right back to the Indy native's name, Bond, and the concept of bringing people together.
As it appears the pandemic is starting to subside, the Bonds hope Bondo's Cookies are the perfect treat for folks to bring to their social gatherings.
"Bonding people together is just kind of like my nature as a person," Bond said. "I want to bring people together and bring happiness to people."
The Bonds look forward to welcoming their first child this year, and soon after hope to either open a bakery of their own or go into wholesale.
"I do love being able to see who I'm giving cookies and serving cookies to," Bond said. "Having my own brick-and-mortar building would be my goal."
You can order a six, 12, 24, or 48 pack of cookies at bondoscookies.com for pick-up or delivery on the southeast side of Indianapolis on Friday mornings.
WRTV Digital Reporter Shakkira Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her on Twitter, @shakkirasays.