How a couple’s cookie business made ‘Oprah’s Favorite Things’ list within months of opening storefront

Dollita Okine August 22, 2023
Marissa and Jeff Allen are the co-founders of Cookie Society, a gourmet company located in North Texas that specializes in creating and offering uniquely crafted and flavored cookies. Photo Credit: Cookie Society

Marissa and Jeff Allen are the co-founders of Cookie Society, a gourmet company located in North Texas that specializes in creating and offering uniquely crafted and flavored cookies. During a trip to New York City in 2017, Marissa and Jeff visited a popular bakery and tasted what they considered to be one of the best cookies they had ever tried.

Inspired by the experience, Jeff asked Marissa if she could recreate the cookie at home. Although she couldn’t quite replicate the exact recipe, Marissa, who had a passion for baking and ran a food blog, decided to create her own unique cookie instead.

Marissa’s journey to perfection involved experimenting with different techniques until she achieved the desired result. One of her creations, a banana pudding cookie, became a favorite of her husband, Jeff, and catalyzed the idea behind Cookie Society.

She revealed that her husband, who at the time was an offensive lineman for the Houston Texans in the National Football League, would offer the cookie to his teammates.

“At the time, I looked online, and no one had ever made a banana pudding cookie,” Jeff said to Fox Business. “It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever eaten.”

With the success and positive feedback from her unique cookies, Marissa began to explore further and expand her cookie repertoire. This ultimately led to the establishment of the Cookie Society in 2018, initially offering a menu with six cookie choices. Marissa’s primary focus was to ensure exceptional quality with each cookie.

Over five years, the Cookie Society has expanded its offerings significantly and now boasts over 70 different types of cookies. This growth is a testament to their commitment to providing a wide range of delicious options to their customers.

The success of the Cookie Society has enabled them to ship their cookies nationwide, catering to people from all over the country. During the pandemic, they even had the opportunity to ship cookies to Oprah Winfrey, showcasing the widespread recognition and demand for their products.

Following Jeff’s retirement from professional football, the couple made plans to open their first physical store in Frisco, Texas, in early 2020. However, their plans were disrupted by the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which occurred just days before their scheduled store opening. Despite this setback, the couple persevered and continued to focus on growing their business, adapting to the challenges presented by the pandemic.

“We would line up in front of the building and just run to cars,” Marissa told DFWChild. “We would walk up and say, ‘Are you here for cookies?’ We’re pointing at our shirt and at the building because their windows are up,” Marissa shared.

It was during this period that Oprah called them. Marissa told DFWChild, “It was incredibly exciting. At first, we thought it was a hoax because the email was one line. And I was like, ‘How would they find me? How do they know?’ And [the Oprah representative] said, ‘Put me in contact with your PR.’ I was like, ‘Should I create another email address so I look like I have PR?” Because we weren’t as big as she thinks!”

After going through the consideration process for ‘Oprah’s Favorite Things’ list, the couple’s cookies landed on the prestigious list within six months of opening their first storefront, Fox Business reported.

Marissa mentioned that she and her husband, Jeff, leverage their strengths in running the business. While she takes care of internal operations, Jeff focuses on external operations. Today, they have successfully opened two storefronts in the North Texas area.

Looking ahead, the Allens have ambitious goals for further expansion and aspire to become the go-to destination for cookies in Texas. They aim to establish themselves as the premier “cookie” brand in the state, continuing to grow their business and delighting customers with their delicious creations.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 22, 2023


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