A Half-Baked Idea Turns into a Full-Time Business

dave at the bakery

What started as a hobby by Hudson Valley, NY residents Dave and Heather Maffei, has quickly become their full-time family business.

It all began when Heather got a pair of Gucci loafers for the holidays that were cute, but a little too fancy (she’s an Uggs-on-the-weekend kind of girl). At Bloomingdale’s, with store credit in hand, Dave, an avid baker, sprinted to the kitchen electronics section where he bought a KitchenAid mixer.

A former assistant principal at a local high school, he was determined to master the perfect recipe for a crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside cookie. And he was sure the new mixer would help him do that.

It did, but it would take about 10 months and multiple renditions. Once perfected – and split in half (more on that in a minute) – the rest is Halfsie’s history.

chocolate chip cookies

The cookies were such a hit among friends and family that Heather, a beauty director at two magazines who’s known for exposing every aspect of the couple’s lives on Instagram, posted videos of the mouthwatering morsels.

Soon, followers were asking how they could buy them. So, the two made a website and started doing cookie drops at noon Sunday through Friday. Before they knew it, they had a budding business.

As for the company name, it was born out of the fact that the cookies were big. So big, in fact, that when the couple first presented them to friends and family, they all said they were too big. So, to Dave’s initial horror, Heather cut the cookies in half and presented them on plates.

To their surprise, everyone loved them that way. Indeed, they preferred them.

birthday cake cookies

According to Heather, when they’re served in halves, people are more inclined to mix and match flavors. “There’s less guilt and more fun – exactly what a dessert should be,” she said.

The other surprise is that most people assume Heather bakes the cookies, but the crew behind the cookies are actually “four sporty bros in blue aprons, who often blast football games and rap music in the bakery.”

Halfsies offers more than 160 different cookie flavors, including classic chocolate chip, a super popular lactation cookie called Milk Money (offered every Thursday aka Thirsty Baby Thursdays for new moms) and seasonal flavors such as Pumpkin S’mores, Hot Chocolate and Honk if You’re Corny. In addition, they offer Piña Colada (a sugar cookie with coconut extract, vanilla chips and dried pineapple chunks, which Dave says is like a luau in your mouth) and the Peanut Butter Fan Sampler: a mix of Peanut Butter Buckeyes, PB Smiles and Oreo-stuffed peanut butter chocolate chip.

cosmic stout cookies

The two are always open to creating new recipes based on customer feedback, with Dave occasionally going live on Instagram to connect with fans and find out what they want to see next.

Their drop model also keeps customers engaged. Dave and Heather said they love hearing how buyers set their alarms to be sure to score their favorite flavor. Cookies are shipped the next day in a vacuum-sealed package ensuring the sweet goods arrive fresh and intact. (Hot tip from the team: microwave the cookie for about 15 seconds before eating them for that warm-from-the-oven texture.)

The Maffei’s said they’re always happy to provide people with a sense of homemade comfort and often repost videos of parents surprising their kids with their cookies or seeing how couples incorporate them into their special day as wedding favors.

AUTHOR

Hannah Sarraf

Hannah Sarraf is an NYC-based freelance food writer and avid cook. She has published articles for Spoon University while attending Baruch College. Check out her website: heartyhannahfeed.com for more food and restaurant content.

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