Exploring Life & Business with Maya Madsen of Maya’s Cookies

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maya Madsen.

Hi Maya, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I was a fitness industry professional for 30 years and over those years I spent time learning about nutrition to help improve my performance. Ultimately, it led me to a plant-based diet. At the same time, I am a mother of three black men and as I was raising those boys, I knew that a college education was tantamount to their future. I needed to find a way to contribute to their education so they wouldn’t end up with endless college debt and ensure that they got the education they needed to succeed. As a fitness professional and vegan with a sweet tooth, I still craved a delicious Mrs. Fields’ style cookie, but couldn’t find a vegan version on the market. I started experimenting and perfecting my recipes.

And eventually, I perfected my recipes. That’s when those two worlds collided, my cookies had become so popular amongst friends, schoolmates, and their parents that I realized that was a way I could contribute to their education. And so, Maya’s Cookies was born in 2015. I started out as predominantly a Farmer’s Market brand, but over time, we launched e-commerce, corporate and event business, and this past November, our flagship storefront!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Definitely not! But I am a competitor and thrive when challenges are in my way. I love to win. When I first dreamed up my business, it was 20 years ago, and it too time for me to figure out how to even start. Every decision unlocked a new challenge, new paperwork, and more tasks on my to-do list! I think in retrospect, one of the funniest challenges had to do with the first sublet of a commercial kitchen…that produced sauerkraut. We had to figure out how to use the kitchen without our cookies tasting funny! But we figured it out.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Maya’s Cookies is America’s #1 Black-Owned Gourmet Vegan Cookie Company. We craft delicious, award-winning soft-baked gourmet vegan cookies that appeal to vegans and non-vegans alike! From the classic cookie flavors like Chocolate Chip and Snickerdoodle to unique and forward-thinking flavors such as “Chocolate Chip S’mores” and “Marble Fudge”, every flavor has a story grounded in Maya’s travels, memories, and experiences.

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Maya is committed to giving back to the community and lifting up those around her. Working with organizations like Kitchens for Good, Farm Animal Refuge, Detour Fancy and more, Maya is able to contribute her time, proceeds and mentorship. She also serves as a business mentor and leader to other up and coming businesses.

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