Maya’s cookies are irresistible
By Bella Ross
In 2015, Scripps Ranch resident Maya Madsen was baking 20 dozen batches of her specialty vegan cookies in her home kitchen every week.
The nutrition buff and fitness instructor was driven by more than just her sweet tooth: Madsen had two sons in college that year. Plus, making food always made her happy.
“The way that I share my love is through feeding people,” Madsen said.
That year, when it became clear her operation had outgrown her kitchen, Madsen founded Maya’s Cookies. Five years later, in 2020, her locally grown business was titled America’s #1 Black-Owned Vegan Cookie Company.
The company, which got its start in local farmers markets, found success during a time when many small businesses were experiencing the exact opposite. Madsen said the pandemic came with a modest increase in sales thanks to the company’s online purchasing options. But the biggest wave of new customers came following the protests in response to George Floyd’s murder.
“With the horrific death of George Floyd and all the social injustice that was brought to the forefront, people wanted to support Black businesses,” Madsen said. “Most of my customers knew that I was a Black-owned business and as soon as that happened, they kind of just propelled me up.”
Madsen is the organized type, meaning this five-year ascension was by no means accidental. The business has strong relationships in the vegan community as well as with its customers. It also focuses staunchly on giving back to the community, with recent charity efforts to support the Farm Animal Refuge and other organizations.
In November 2020, the business opened its first storefront in the lobby of its Grantville production facility (located near a post office, the bakers had grown tired of turning away bystanders drawn to the building by the smell of cookies).
Above all, she said her primary concern is delivering consistent quality.
The standard is high: “These are Mrs. Fields style cookies from the eighties,” Madsen said, “only vegan.”
The gourmet quality of Madsen’s cookies, along with the ever-changing slate of flavors, is sure to tempt vegans and animal product-eaters alike. The mother of these baked delicacies struggles to choose a favorite.
“I don’t have a personal favorite because they’re like my kids and I can’t choose one, but each week I have different ones that I am eating more often than others,” Madsen said. “I really love my Brown Sugar Butterscotch cookie right now. Last week, I was eating a lot of my Gluten-Free Oat Milk Chocolate Chip.”
Fan favorites include the Everything cookie, the perfect balance of salty and sweet, and her classic Snickerdoodle.
Visit MayasCookies.com to shop Madsen’s cookies or find storefront details.