Ashley Brown’s Homemade Cookie Business Delights Customers

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Ashley Brown, owner of Ashley’s famous cookies in Pelham, knew she had a winning product when her family and friends tasted her homemade cookies and didn’t try anyone else’s. It started innocently. Brown’s friends and family used to buy cookies at a fast food restaurant, and one day she decided she wanted to make her own from scratch.

“My mom kept telling me over the past few years, ‘You really have to sell them. They are so good. She said, “I don’t want anything other than Ashley’s famous cookies,” said Brown, whose friends said the same thing. In March of this year, Ashley’s famous cookies was born.

“I was looking at other recipes, seeing how people made theirs, and changing the recipe or freestyle based on my own ideas,” Brown said.

She posted an Instagram post about cookies, and the business took off faster than she imagined: “It’s just crazy because you’re looking back, and I’m even trying to scroll down, and I’m like, ‘How did this happen?’ It’s still a little weird.

“It was probably word of mouth,” Brown said. “The whole avenue of family and friends is what brought him here, but I still don’t know. It happened so fast. “

His first clients were friends, family and people from previous jobs. Then friends of friends and strangers started ordering cookies from ashleysfamouscookies.com, which went live around May of this year.

Ashley Brown, owner of Ashley’s Famous Cookies (file)

Brown had to make some adjustments, like having to explain her business over the phone, which she wasn’t used to: “But at the same time, it made me realize that… people are receptive to these cookies.”

Brown knew the business grew when she received at least one order a day.

“It was a huge turning point because I was like, ‘OK, it’s not just a hobby. (At first) someone would like cookies today and someone else would like cookies another day. (Then things changed and) every day at least one person wanted cookies, ”she said.

Brown said she now receives about 15 or 20 orders per week and an average of three orders per day. His goal is to get up to 10 orders per day, which might not be as far off as it sounds.

Turning

Brown believes the turning point for her business came in August, when she was interviewed by Jet Miller on Smash Bros Radio. Miller is connected to a lot of listeners, so “the interview was a blessing because I think it really confirmed me. … It made everything more official after that.

Shortly after, Brown got a thumbs up from renowned Birmingham-born comedian Rickey Smiley when she and his mom went to the StarDome comedy club to give him a batch of cookies.

“He didn’t watch. He just grabbed a random cookie, bit it and started to run. He walked around the whole StarDome and then took the pan on stage and told the audience how good they were for about 15 minutes, ”Brown recalls, adding that comedian FunnyMaine also tasted the cookies. “It was such an authentic moment.”

During the show, Brown received several texts about his cookies and how Smiley was talking about them. “He said something that really pushed him,” she said.

Balancing act

Brown, 23, who was born in the Auburn-Opelika area and raised in Birmingham, not only has a cookie business but also a 2-year-old son and a rap career, so balance is something that she is constantly learning.

“It’s difficult because I feel like I’m not paying enough attention to (my son),” she said. “He wants to play, and I’m like, ‘Wait, let me finish these cookies.’ It’s something else: I try to (create) a schedule.

The ideal schedule would allow her to deliver cookies early in the day, so that she could manage other aspects of the business and spend time with her son, Ashton, who is a fan of his cookies. He loves to eat chocolate chips, Brown said, but isn’t too picky about the cookies he eats: “I would say his favorites would be Unicorn, Strawberry, and (Ultimate) Oatmeal.”

Brown has been in love with music and poetry since the age of 3 and started writing music at the age of 11.

“When I was 11, I dropped my first song, ‘Learn These Parts of Speech’ on YouTube,” said Brown, whose stage name is Asher Cole.

For now, she’s put music aside to focus on her business and her son. Brown’s dad told him, “If you do something right, everything else will follow. For her, it is the business of cookies.

“I love baking and cooking,” Brown said. “I can cook anything. I was cooking every night before the cookies started to pop.

Brown’s Cookies are sweet bundles and come in a variety of flavors including Red Velvet (with cream cheese filling), Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip, Brookie (brownie cookie), Ultimate Oatmeal, Unicorn (sugar), Strawberry and S’mores. She updates the menu every now and then, removing flavors people aren’t buying and adding more if orders match demand. However, popular flavors are the mainstay of the menu and she is also experimenting with new flavors.

Pre-orders

Brown bakes cookies at her home in Pelham, but is considering renting a commercial kitchen space. She also thinks she is looking for help.

“I try to do the dishes, to make dough, to cook dough. If I run out of dough, I have to do more. There is not much (one person) can do, ”she said.

One of the changes Brown made is that she asks customers to pre-order, “As long as I have a day early, everything should be fine.”

Besides baking his cookies, Brown delivers and ships them, which can mean a trip from, say, Pelham to Ensley.

“It comes down to pre-ordering,” she said. “I don’t get any profit from the delivery; I just charge $ 3 every 6 miles. It really is time more than money as the journey takes about 30 minutes.

Mobility

Going forward, Brown would like to invest in a food truck or brick and mortar location, although she leans toward the truck due to its mobility.

“I really want to be like the ice cream man,” she said. “When you hear the song, you think, ‘That’s the cookie lady! Also, food trucks are really popping up right now, so I’m really going to be able to attract more customers.

Brown would like to start selling cookie dough at the bar, so people can bake their own cookies. No matter the size of her business, she knows the importance of her customers.

“All of these people play a role in giving you this finished product,” Brown said. “It’s not me. I can’t take the credit on my own. I mean, I worked right up to the cookie making, but the support is just amazing.

Visit ashleysfamouscookies.com to order.

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