Mallory Denison has a pretty awesome side hustle running Cookie Co., a small operation that provides Charlotte with some of the best cookies we’ve ever had. She’s also doing cool things at her main job with The Cash Flow Academy, which teaches online courses on investing and financial literacy.
Mallory recently joined hygge coworking as a flex member after moving from Charleston, and we’ve loved having her around – and not just because of the delicious cookies that she leaves in the open space from time to time. She simply brings a great enthusiasm into our spaces and into everything she does.
We sat down with Mallory to learn more about her journey as a professional, cookie entrepreneur and human. Check out her answers below and don’t forget to follow Cookie Co. on Instagram; they’re not currently accepting orders as Mallory works through some business updates, but give them a follow to make sure you’re ready when the time comes!
What’s your full time job? How long have you been doing that and how’d you get started?
My full time job is a Project Manager for The Cash Flow Academy. I started with this company in August of 2021, but I’ve been working as a project manager for a few years! It took me a while to graduate college and start my career journey, but I started working at tech companies out of college, and worked my way through a few different positions to find what highlighted my strengths and kept me excited about work every day. I quickly found that working in implementation and project management was fun for me. I was lucky enough to be mentored through my career as a project manager by some incredible people in different fields. I think it’s helped me pick up some good habits and piece together what kind of project manager I want to be and how I run my projects.
What brought you to Charlotte and how long have you lived here?
I am from Salt Lake City, Utah originally. I knew I wanted to escape the cold and find a place I felt was “home.” I moved around quite a bit for the past 8 years – Charleston, Virginia Beach, back to Utah, Birmingham, then back to Charleston… then I moved here in November 2021. Charlotte was kind of a wild card for me – I wanted a bigger city, closer proximity to the mountains, but I didn’t want to do another cross country move. I set my heart on Charlotte and haven’t regretted it once.
Okay, now for the fun: Tell us about cookies! When did you start Cookie Co.? How did you get started baking cookies? How long did it take you to perfect your (incredible) recipe?
Cookie Co!!!! My real one true love. I started baking cookies way back in 2014. I fell in love with the science of baking and obsessed over making the perfect chocolate chip cookie. It took me probably two years to get it just right. I knew I wanted them to be big and have just the right texture: a little crisp crunch on the outside and soft on the inside. I baked them for friends and family for YEARS and everyone always told me I should sell them.
At the beginning of Covid I took it as a sign to stay home, bake cookies, and share them with the world! I got the business up and running, posted on a neighborhood Facebook page and it blew up quicker than I could have imagined. While I was moving here to Charlotte, I decided to shut down for a bit to get settled and really make sure I did a few things differently. Now Cookie Co. is ramping up to start back up again and slinging cookies all over Charlotte and I couldn’t be more excited!
What’s something you’ve learned in running a cookie business?
I adopted the “Ready, Fire, Aim” mentality with running a business. I knew I wouldn’t do it all right the first time, I knew that I had no idea what I was doing, but I also knew I had a fantastic product and would figure it all out along the way. I really learned that I cannot and do not have to do everything or bend to every request. It’s so easy to feel the weight of the entire company, wanting to run with your vision and never disappoint people, but one singular person cannot do everything. I learned that a lot with running the company in Charleston, and I knew that I wanted to do things a little bit differently this time around.
Outside of yourself, who serves your favorite chocolate chip cookie?
Levain Bakery in NYC! I WORSHIP those cookies. I haven’t even been to the bakery, but a friend brought them to me and I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of money getting them shipped to me.
Other than baking and working, what are some things you do for fun?
People have always made fun of me for this, but I do competitive bodybuilding! It’s a fun sport for me and keeps me active and challenged. I have loved doing it, but it’s always a little contradictory with the whole “being around chocolate chip cookies all day” thing I have going on. Outside of that, I love to golf, play pickleball, hike and read!
What’s your favorite part about Charlotte?
I have LOVED exploring Charlotte with my dog! I wanted to challenge myself and get outside and explore the city so my dog and I go on walks throughout the city and I specifically look for something funny, weird, artsy, etc. that we can take a picture with. It’s been fun to document our times here and really appreciate the small things about this city!