SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A Black-owned vegan bakery that gained fame last summer is continuing to thrive during the pandemic.
Tucked in an industrial park in Grantville is Maya's Cookies. The bright pop of color and aromas of freshly baked cookies have been pulling visitors in for years.
"So many people kept smelling the cookies and coming across the street and asking us if they could buy them and we'd have to turn them away [because the cookies were already purchased by online customers] so I finally turned this lobby into a store," Owner Maya Madsen said.
Madsen opened for online orders in 2016 and sold about 15 orders a day.
Then in June of 2020, actress Kerry Washington tweeted a list of Black owned businesses and urged Americans to support them.
Buy black!!!! 🖤🖤🖤 https://t.co/irTSVWOEi9
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) June 2, 2020
Madsen had about 3,000 orders a day the rest of the month. A huge expansion in a business that did the work by hand, in a very short time.
"When I went through the June spike and I had 10,000 orders and I was used to doing 20 orders a week, I was able to contact my mentors and they walked me off a ledge. They helped me find resources," she said.
She advises anyone opening a business to do your research, monitor your books, and find a mentor.
Maya's Cookies sparked from her love of spreading joy through food.
"I did grow up in an under-served community. I was food insecure, food is really important to me and that's how I show love," she said.
The business is also serving to support her three sons through college.
"Before the Black Lives Matter movement was brought to the forefront with the social injustice, I was living that as the mother of three young black men, so that was my life and I wanted to make sure they got a college education so they had a seat at the table no matter what," she said.
Madsen is using her elevated platform to honor icons during Black History Month, creating Hank Aaron, Amanda Gorman and Debbie Allen cookies.
"This week I'm eating a lot of the Amanda Gorman, because that raspberry, and lemon and white chocolate combination are to die for!" Madsen said.
Madsen said the raspberry and lemon flavors represent the red headband and yellow coat Gorman wore during her speech at President Joe Biden's inauguration. She said she donates a portion of her profits to DETOUR and Farm Animal Refuge. Both are based in San Diego.
"Detour Fancy offers mentorship for girls in under served communities," Madsen said.
Maya hopes to continue growing her business and open another storefront in the future.