When Jessica Harold and her business partner, Patrick Hingst, took a leap of faith in opening Kookys N Cream in Lapeer, Michigan, they had no idea that only six months later a global pandemic would throw a wrench into a lifelong dream. Even more surprising was the source of their salvation.
For many people, the lockdown was the impetus to download TikTok for hours of mindless scrolling, but Harold saw an opportunity. Armed with a background in marketing, she took to social media and started creating videos about her cookie creations, intent on attracting online orders. “For us, it’s just trying to stay playful and tell our story,” she said. “What we try to focus on is just how unique and different our cookies truly are.”
While Harold’s videos initially garnered a few sales, it wasn’t until a handful of notable TikTokkers placed orders and promoted her cookies that sales began to skyrocket. Soon, her waiting list was weeks long.
“We bake per order. So, basically, we’ll take down all of the orders for the day, make sure we have the right number of cookies, bake them off, decorate them, let them cool, package them in vacuum-sealed packaging and then we ship them,” she said.
Despite restrictions and stay-at-home orders in the early stages of the pandemic, the company quickly grew. But if social media was the catalyst for their viral success, it’s their creativity in the kitchen that has sustained their business.
“We have a mean chocolate chip cookie, but we realize that in this game you have to be bold and different and really scrumptious,” explained Harold. “The whole idea for us is that we don’t use the same dough twice.” Each cookie recipe is unique and the variety only continues to abound.
“We’re doing this cheesecake stuffed elephant ear that is truly like the greatest cookie that’s ever happened,” she said. “I don’t want to sell anyone a cookie that is not amazing.”
Kookys N Cream ships cookies nationwide, but locals to the Lapeer area have the added bonus of stopping by the storefront to sample their original Cookie Cream, a delectable combination that’s half cookie, half ice cream. In the future, Harold intends to begin shipping Cookie Cream as well.
Said Harold: “We believe everybody deserves a treat.”
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