By: Twumasi Duah-Mensah
The Heritage Herald is proud to publish its first-ever article in collaboration with community stakeholders. This article is sponsored by Cookie Dough Co. If you’re a business interested in advertising with the Herald, email us. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good things come from Wake Forest High School.
I know what you’re thinking. “Wake Forest sucks! The only decent thing about them is their football team.” Well, you’re wrong. Of the two-and-a-half good things about Wake Forest, one of them is that they have a very good businesswoman walking through their halls.
Enter Cookie Dough Co., owned by WFHS student Maya Hare. The company sells and delivers eight different flavors of edible cookie dough. It was founded after Hare’s friend, who was in Los Angeles during the summer, posted pictures of a cookie dough bar.
“Everyone started asking her where they could get it because they thought it was somewhere in Wake Forest,” said Hare. “I saw an opportunity in the market because of how few edible cookie dough brands there are in North Carolina.”
See? Very good businesswoman.
Such a business mind didn’t develop overnight, though. Hare has always loved business. She credits her dad for this passion. “He started his own business in 2008 and has been very successful,” Hare reflected, “so my whole life, I’ve always gotten to hear the good and the bad about starting your own business. He’s always given me the best advice and told me that I need to make sure that as I get older, I have a job that I love.”
But running your dream business comes with several caveats. One of them is a very, very tight schedule. A typical day for Hare goes like this:
- 6 am – Wake Up
- 6:45 am – Leave the House
- 7:20 am -2:15 pm- School
- 2:15-3 pm – DECA/SGA/French Club Meetings
- 3:15-4:30 pm – Homework Time (and social media for CoDoCo)
- 4:30 pm – Babysitting
- 5:30-6:30 pm – Homework Time
- 6:30 pm – Leave for Dance
- 7-9:30 pm – Dance
- 10pm – Homework Time
- 11:30 pm – Go to Bed
Three things to note about this schedule:
- Hare is the only one running Cookie Dough Co. She makes and delivers all the cookie dough, manages all the business transactions and social media, and is fully responsible for the marketing and growth of the business. Every aspect.
- Note: Don’t worry about her stressing herself out or needing help; she likes to know everything going on in her business.
- The schedule doesn’t account for the days she has to deliver cookie dough.
- She also works at Red Robin on Sundays.
As you can see, she’s kinda busy. Hare usually needs to cut out seeing friends or family to work on her business. Don’t feel too bad, though.
“No one likes having to say no to hanging out with their friends,” commented Hare, “but I do really enjoy anything surrounding my business, so it’s kind of a trade off.
On delivery days, Hare will wake up around 8 am to start making cookie dough. She’ll make a spreadsheet of everyone’s name, order, and address. She’ll finish the dough, decorate the jars, and hit the road around 12 pm. To make sure she is as swift as possible to deliver, she maps out which houses are closest together and furthest apart.
Hare believes that her delivering the cookie dough personally is a great service to her community. “I have many customers that are [aged] 14 or 15 and can’t drive,” pointed out Hare, “so by me delivering it to them, I set myself apart from the competition and have many more customers. It’s perfect for anyone who doesn’t leave the house very often or doesn’t have the ability.”
Not only does Hare work hard to ensure the quality of her service, but she also has a very good marketing acumen, especially on social media. She usually posts content on Instagram and Facebook, where most of her audience—teenagers and younger moms—is concentrated. She prefers to post around 2:30 pm—when teenagers are checking their phone—and 10 pm—where people are going to bed and checking their phones.
Her cookie dough pictures are also “professional pictures,” in which she puts her cookie dough jars in the sunlight and in front of a white piece of paper to make everything look brighter.
Despite all that she is doing, Hare, however, is not reticent to expanding the business. Quite the opposite, actually. Her aspirations are very, very lofty.
“Eventually, I’d love to have a food truck,” wished Hare, “because I see a huge gap in the market for [cookie dough] food trucks…I think it’d be a huge hit and that people would love the mobility of having cookie dough at local events.”
And Hare believes that anyone who puts their mind to making a business can do it.
“I think that anyone aspiring to start a business can learn from my business in many areas,” proclaimed Hare. “Hopefully, I can inspire people to realize that starting your own company is not as big and scary as it may sound and that it doesn’t matter how old you are. If you have an idea, just go for it.”
Lastly, I always like to ask my interviewees silly or personal questions. Here are the three I asked Maya:
- Does pineapple belong on pizza? – Her answer: yes. My response: 🤮.
- What were your favorite cartoons growing up? – Her answer: Phineas and Ferb, Bear in the Big Blue House, and Maya and Miguel.
- What influential figures do you look up to? – Her answer: Michelle Obama “for her amazing poise and generosity, especially to children” and Sophia Bush “for her amazing work against bullying and for always fighting for equality.”
Looking back at it all, the Cookie Dough Co. story is one of pure hustle and ingenuity that isn’t limited to age. It’s also a story that shows that if you love something enough like Maya loves business, time will never be an obstacle.
You can order cookie dough from Cookie Dough Co. by clicking this link. You can follow the company’s Instagram @cookiedough_co and like it on Facebook @cookiedoughc0. Cookie Dough Co. also offers a $0.75 discount on any future purchase by collecting your empty cookie dough jars.